Sunday, September 22, 2013

41 really isn't too bad ;)

Happy Birthday to me!

YES, I'm 41.

I really can't believe it!
I don't feel old at all -- thankfully!
My mom made me my favorite -- cream puffs!


I do remember when my parents were this age and I thought:

My children have assured me they DO NOT think that!

Yep -- This is NOT the life I saw for myself --


God knew me better than I knew myself.  
HE gave me 5 amazing kids -- 2 of my womb and 3 of my heart, a wonderful husband, a beautiful home, a job that provides so much, a fabulous church family --

NOW don't get me wrong ---
I'm heavier than I would like -- have little ME time -- Yes, I do have special needs children who need extra care -- My house is NOT perfectly clean and organized anymore -- I have NOT accomplished my entire BIG to do list!  
I'm fairly healthy -- even with Type 1 Diabetes!  I can get around!  I have traveled -- I can read and talk and DO -- I'm BLESSED with soooo much!


A very generous and thoughtful family!

My children gave me a gift card for Starbucks --- yum!

My brother got me this Wonder Women card --

My parents gave me BIG soup pot!  I know crazy that I didn't already have this -- mine was SMALL!


My husband -- well, he gave me a NEW SERGER!!!

I had to close my eyes until he was ready!




Yes, I needed a new one BUT I did not think he would look for one and purchase it on his own.
It is WAY better than the one I would of bought BUT he did it! 

I can't WAIT to really sit down and USE it!

So -- 41 years -- yep, they have been pretty good.  Problems -- well, of course.


Thankfully, my LORD has seen me through.  AND I trust the next year AND many more to come -- well, my LORD will continue to see me through and guide me to lead the life HE sees fit for me.  

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Family Fun at the Circus

We were BLESSED to have a kind family give our family tickets to the circus.

This is not something we would normally do -- as it can get expensive for a large family.
We were shocked -- and so excited.
As the girls had NEVER been to the circus before!

This circus was titled:

We left early on Saturday morning -- Matt, MD, My Darling, BaJabs, Elizabeth and I.  JM was at a friends for birthday party that had been planned for a long time.

The circus has fun activities planned for about an hour BEFORE the show.  We were able to go right down on the floor and check things out and get up and close to the elephants, clowns and FUN!

Fun clowns interacting and dancing with many of the kids.

The elephant painting.

Painting again -- up close!

Although, we had a little girl that did NOT like doing this!  She was actually very scared of the clowns ... hmmmmm....

2 happy and excited girls -- ONE grumpy girl!

The start of the circus was very fun.

Well, actually the entire circus was fun!  Even our nervous --- scared of the clowns, daughter .............. My Darling :)  ended up loving the show.

All 3 girls loving the show!

I LOVED watching BaJabs!! She sat on the end of seat the ENTIRE time!  She was so INTO the show!

BaJabs finally could get the nose ON -- her little, flat nose is not easy for a clown nose!

The happy crew after the circus ended.

After the circus we were able to enjoy a bit of Art Prize.  This is also something the girls, Matt and I have never experienced.  

It was really exciting observing all the different types of talent AND art.  We agreed we did not like everything BUT it was fun to look at.

Thank-you to Mr. and Mrs. Y for blessing our family 
It was so appreciated!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

My Darling's Gotcha Day #8

8 years ago My Darling joined the Woller family!

It was a VERY hot day.  
There were 17 other families with us -- sharing in our joy 
AND us with them
as we were ALL adopting little girls.

Waiting for the babies to arrive.

All 18 families that we traveled with.

Matt and I were so excited AND nervous!!

My Darling was SO scared!

This picture still brings tears to my eyes!  I was SOOOO happy -- but look at her.  She was sooo scared BUT she never made a sound -- for 2 days!  

She was all that I'd prayed for and MORE!!!


She was LITTLE -- only 11.5 pounds at 9 1/2 months. BUT she ate good and looked good.

The sad -- blank look WITH the famous keys.  These were in her constant possession for MONTHS!

A REAL birthday and note from birth-mom

quick bonding


YES, I actually prayed for that :)

Within days she looked AMAZING!!!

4 days after she was placed in our arms.

Fast-forward to.....

Today --

She is grown up to be a fabulously, amazing young lady!

She is beautiful -- inside and out!
FULL of spice, laughter and WORDS -- lots of them!

She loves to play the violin, sing, read and write stories.

She is a total ham -- and gets joy by getting others to laugh.  She prefers to stay home and does not like large groups of people.  She still needs that BEAUTIFUL Chinese blanket I bought in China -- that was SUPPOSE to be for show -- you know -- like hanging on the back of our rocking chair. 
of course it became her 'B'!

She opened our eyes to the life of orphanages and God used her to give Matt and I a heart for girls in Chinese orphanages.

She prayed right along with us when we adopted the two more girls.
when they came home she was integral in helping them adjust.  

We celebrated My Darling today!  

We dressed in Chinese clothing.

We had a great Chinese meal!

She opened her Chinese gift --- 2 of them.
YES, when we went to China I purchased 18 + items that were particular to the culture.  AND the plan is to give her 1 or 2 each 'gotcha day.'

This is a wooden stamp that was made for her with her American name written in Chinese.

Matt and I are so thankful that God chose our family for My Darling!

Our first AMAZING trip to China allowed for us to go to the Great Wall the day before My Darling joined our family!  

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Just a quick update --- NO PICTURES :)


When we got up this morning another portion of her wound had 'burst' open.  This area still showed the stitch.  AND yes, it was GROSS!!!

There was/is lots of discharge.

We took pictures and called the doctor/surgeon.

He felt that the best thing that could of happened was for those two areas to 'break/burst' open.  The stitches not dissolving is the cause of the problem.


Now we have two fairly LARGE openings in the wound.  One area still has the stitch in the skin.  This is breeding ground to infection. 

We are asking that you continue to pray for Elizabeth.

PLEASE pray that the wound stays CLEAR of any other infection and that if anything else needs to come OUT comes OUT!!!

She needs to keep this area 'sterile' -- CLEAR of bacteria.  This is hard for her!!! :)

Also pray that the swelling goes DOWN and this heals QUICKLY!!!  She would LOVE to be able to walk 'normal' again by wearing her prosthesis.  

PRAISE -- she was able to STAY home all day with my mom -- and she spoiled her a bit.  She painted nails, did crafts, got her hair done pretty, ate good and had a good nap.  She's as happy as can be :)  She's eating normally and still NO fever.  Also -- she hates the med but is taking it with NO complaining because she TOTALLY understands she needs to get better! 

Friday, September 6, 2013

An unexpected 24 hours!

WARNING --- 2 pictures are a bit gross!!!

I will CHOOSE JOY!!!!

Yep, I am continually being put in situations to do this!

For the record:
I would NEVER have chose the last 24 hours!!!!!!!!!

Yesterday was the first FULL day of school for all of us.  
It was actually a GREAT day for all the kids AND me!!


We were all SO tired when we got home.  I actually stopped at the local butcher shop and got fresh brats and potato salad for dinner -- EASY!  
Not a normal dinner around here ;)

It was also the first night of all the kids activities at church.  Our children were so excited.  We even got there 10 minutes early.


This was the start of a long night.

When Elizabeth got out of the van she told me her short leg was sore.  
Ok -- well that put up a red flag.  BUT it was NOT completely unusual.

Yet, it got me thinking.  On Saturday she had finally worked up to being able to wear her prosthesis for about 4 hours.  BUT her leg got sore on our walk and MD carried her the last bit.  When we got back to the van I had her take her prosthesis off and there was some blood.  I figured the scab just rubbed off.
We decided she would not wear her leg for a few days -- really no big deal!

Well, Sunday there was a little bit of drainage and Monday it continued -- LITTLE, though!

Tuesday was school and she went.  That night when the girls were going to bed I examined the wound a bit and it was starting to look swollen -- I THOUGHT!  So, I had Matt look at it because I do get OVER concerned sometimes ;)
He thought it was just in the healing stage.

Wednesday morning -- NO CHANGE from the night before.


By the time we got to church and she mentioned -- PAIN.  Well, things changed.  I decided to take her in the bathroom and take a GOOD look.  The whole area was red -- bigger than the size of an orange.  AND it was oozing -- LOTS.

I just wiped the oozing so I could get a picture.

I talked to a doctor friend at church and she said I should call the surgeon.  So, when we got home I called.  Well, they HIGHLY suggested we head to GR to get it checked.  The felt the local ER would just send her to the hospital where the surgeon was anyway -- The Children's hospital in GR.

YES, -- that's an hour one way!!! YIKES -- this is getting to be a LONG day with a LATE night.

We got there at 10:30 pm and after exams, blood work, x-rays and many opinions; it was decided she had cellulitis at the wound site.  

Always a smile.  This awesome spirit is why all the nurses love her and want to spoil her!  Picture is right before the IV.  AND absolutely NO tears through it!  She is such a trooper.  AND let me tell you -- they give fun prizes!

The action plan -- 3 high doses of antibiotic given by IV.  AND observe the size of the 'red' area.


Meant we had to stay at the hospital. 

Elizabeth and I stayed at the hospital and Matt went home at 2:00 in the morning. 

Elizabeth -- FINALLY got to sleep around 2 am -- Me around 3:30.  

What a sweetie -- she INSISTED on keeping her shorts on because she did not want ANYONE to see her undies ;)

Oh, my!  We were exhausted.  

Doctors started coming in at 7.  REALLY!! I was a complete zombie :) AND so was Elizabeth.

THANKFULLY, I had a WONDERFUL sub that was on stand-by and answered my text at 3 am.  BUT I had to email her my plans in the morning.  This is something I hate to do -- miss school this early in the year BUT I was again reminded my plans were certainly not God's plans!

Thankfully, Elizabeth and I packed to stay -- JUST IN CASE!!!  So, we had clothes and hygiene items!!!

The hospital was wonderful and provided so many fun things for Elizabeth to do -- and me :)

 Color/activity book with colored pencils and scratch art -- a favorite of hers.  These were actual stickers as well!

 Painting wooden animals!!  FUN!!!

Elmer the elephant -- painted like the one on my teaching station at school!

We BOTH fell in LOVE with orange, creamy slushies!!!

The wound really started to look better after just one dose and more so after the second dose.  
late in the afternoon a concerning area was forming and we had to have an ultrasound.  

Thankfully, the ultrasound showed NO abscess.  BUT it broke open the scab -- again.  They put some gauze on it and taped it down.  

She ate dinner -- and it was decided we could go home!!! Matt came to get us at 8:00 pm.  We got the meds. and arrived home at 9:30.

Mommy and Elizabeth cuddling in the chair.  Yep, she is almost ALWAYS smiling!

Even though she slept most the way home she still wanted to go straight to bed. 

I decided to get the gauze off -- we wanted it to continue to have air and HEAL.


When that gauze came off -- ever so carefully-- the scab and INTERNAL stitches came with it.  

REALLY disgusting!!

This is very cleaned-up for you!  The circle was how big the red and swollen area was last night!

So, I guess we will be calling again tomorrow as we now have a gaping hole.  

I put butterfly bandages on and she crawled up to her pillow and went right to sleep.
What a trooper!!!

Again, not the 24 hours I planned.  
God knew all about it and provided!

**** A smiling, happy girl -- with an AWESOME positive attitude
**** MANY friends and family that prayed!!
**** My mom who came and stayed the night with the kids
**** A few individuals who offered comfort and help in GR
**** Some that offered Matt help with the kids at home
**** Awesome friends at school that were understanding AND helpful!
**** My mother-in-law who made dinner, fed the family and got them home
**** An hospital staff that made my daughter feel LOVED.  I KNOW they did not know her LOVE for dogs -- BUT God did and provided!  It just happened that the stuffed animal they picked for her was a BEAUTIFUL fluffy, soft dog; AND we just HAPPENED to be there on the day the therapy dog comes around.  REALLY, that made her day!!!
They also provided some of the best crafts for her.  Ones she LOVED!  
**** My blood-sugar was PERFECT all day!  My fasting was 101 and it NEVER went over 130.  Really, that it amazing when under stress.

I could keep going on.  BUT I think it is understood

This was not a fun ordeal but God is still good and HE continued to do good through it all.


Even though we probably will have more to do tomorrow -- well, I am trusting HIM!
HE WILL be GOOD tomorrow!!!

PLEASE continue to pray for Elizabeth.  
*** Please pray the infection is GONE!
*** Please pray that this wound seals up easily and HEALS!
*** Please pray all swelling -- LEAVES!
*** Please pray she can wear her prosthesis again, SOON!
*** Please pray for me -- I'm tired -- and have so much to do at school AND home ;)
Sunday -- what a beauty!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The first day of school 2013

The summer has ended 
 the new school year has begun!!!

Thankfully, all were happy about it!!!

MD and JM leave early for school -- 

Oh, my


MD is starting his junior year
JM is starting 7th grade.

Mommy leaves next --

I am starting my 20th year of teaching -- 
This year my placement is 6th AND 7th grade Language Arts teacher.

Finally, the girls head to school.
Elizabeth has a set back in her healing.  Unfortunately, her wound broke open and she cannot wear her prosthetic leg.  So, daddy has to bring the girls TO school and MD picks them up.

Elizabeth AND BaJabs are starting 2nd grade
My Darling is starting 3rd grade.

ALL 3 girls have WONDERFUL teachers this year!

Elizabeth in 2nd with Mrs. K.

BaJabs in 2nd grade doing some seat work -- Mrs. A is her teacher!  She has the same teacher as Elizabeth and My Darling had last year.  We LOVE her!

My Darling is in 3rd grade with Mrs. Woller -- yep, she has her aunt this year!

I LOVE spending the summer with my children BUT all good things come to a pause :)  We know we will have NEXT summer to do this all again!

I feel it is SO IMPORTANT to pray daily for my kids as they enter the local public school.  

My prayer for all my children --

 ** Protection from evil
   ** Wise choices
** GOOD friends
** They pay attention
** FOCUS on what is important
**That each of them do their very BEST all of the time -- WORK HARD
** JOY -- each of them to make the best of each situation
** MOST important that Christ love shows through everything they do so they have opportunities to bring HIM glory!

2013/2014 is going to be a GREAT school year! 
 We can do it!!!