Category Archives: Thoughts

Ten Years….

Ten years ago, we were in Ukraine.¬† As many of you know, we have a book in the editing process. I wanted to share an excerpt from it here, in honor of Sweetie 3’s 10th anniversary. ūüôā This is a small part of section 3. VISITING The first days of visiting were great. We would get up and Andrew would… (more…)

Making Connection Through Art

This is a beautiful photo of our little grand daughter and her mama, our daughter in law. Sweetie 4 received this photo in a card at the detention center, and two hours later, had produced this: I love how she did so well making a photo filled with connection and tenderness.¬† It is in her.¬† It really is!¬† And we… (more…)

Visiting and Singing and Things….

Tonight, Mike and I visited Sweetie 4.¬† She is doing really well. She was talking about all the things she got to do during her childhood at home. Apparently they talked about this in group therapy today, and she was thinking about how much fun she had while she was home. She was expressing thankfulness that we let her be… (more…)

What Is A Mistake?

Warning!¬† This is a rant. For the last several years, I have heard grown adults who have made horrible decisions, PURPOSEFUL decisions, when caught, say, “I made a mistake.” It bothered me then, and it is REALLY bothering me now, because it has made its way into counseling offices, detention centers and courtrooms. Let’s be real.¬† A MISTAKE is something… (more…)

“To Be Continued”

Many of you know that for the last year and a half, we have had a very difficult time with Sweetie 4 and more recently with Sweetie 1. Struggles in life will happen.¬† As a dear friend said, “If it’s your turn to have tribulation, then tribulate!” ūüôā We have been soul searching our hearts over these two sweet hearts.¬†¬†… (more…)

Punishment Vs. Natural Consequences

I have been thinking a lot lately about the difference between “Punishment” and “Natural Consequences”. There are Natural Consequences to the things we do that are unavoidable. But punishment is disconnected. Having NO consequences is different than having NO punishment. Natural consequences for our actions are a part of real life. That may seem like “splitting hairs” but it really… (more…)

Great Visit

We had a really great visit with Sweetie 4 tonight, after meeting with her counselor.¬† She is starting to work hard in the program she is in and we are so thankful for the hard work going on behind the scenes. Sweetie 4 is a very likable girl!¬† She can truly be so funny and sweet, and tonight we saw… (more…)

Riding The Tidal Wave of Pain

The last two weeks have been utterly devastating in more ways than I can count.¬† Our precious little family has been tossed and turned by¬† waves of pain unimaginable. As I write this, I am comforted and reminded of the fact that we cannot live our children’s lives for them.¬† We cannot force their healing, but only watch their journey… (more…)

Processing The Weekend

This week was wonderful and sad. ¬†It was full of joy and full of heartache. ¬†Isn’t that just like real life? ¬†We don’t all live in fairy tale land where everything is perfectly wrapped up each and every holiday with a nice little ribbon. ¬†We live real. ūüôā ¬†And REAL is what matters in life. The great things about the… (more…)

Big Court

We surprisingly had big court yesterday. ¬†It wasn’t supposed to happen until the 30th, but the attorney managed to get an earlier date. We were given less than 24 hours notice, and yet, our counselor and our pastor were there to be with us. It was awkward. ¬†We were sitting behind sweetie, and she was in handcuffs and leg irons.… (more…)

Trauma and Holidays

Originally written in November 2011 with addendum 2015 I have written about our children’s internal clock, and how Holidays can wreak havoc on a child who has suffered much in life. We are not strangers to Trauma, or Anniversaries.¬†¬† Those anniversaries are usually not positive!¬† They bring back memories and our children suffer so. Over the years, I have found… (more…)

A Precious Moment

Today was Sweetie 4’s ARD meeting at the detention center. ¬†She didn’t have a very good visit on Sunday with Mike and I was worried that today wouldn’t be a good time either. BUT… the unexpected happened! I was able to go into the room with the other members of the ARD team and she was there, and NOT behind… (more…)

Things I’ve Learned From My Kids

Originally written ¬†Sept. 2009 Baby’s EAT A LOT….they do not care if you are tired. They want to eat. They do not care if you are tired. They need to be changed;¬† and then they barf. Toddlers listen to commercials and can repeat them in the most embarrassing of places. Chuck, at 2 picked up a huge package of feminine… (more…)

CONNECTED!

Visiting¬†Sweetie 4 on Thursday evening ¬†didn’t go so well. ¬†She wound up leaving the visit asking¬† demanding ¬†for me never come back , saying that she would refuse my visits. I have to say, that had never happened before in any of our visits. ¬†So this was new. ¬†It wasn’t without trepidation that I returned to visit this a.m. She¬†wasn’t… (more…)

An “Ah-Ha” Moment

Peace VS. Chaos After our visit on Thursday evening, we were discussing the events that lead up to incarceration, and what things are like now. As predicted, Sweetie 4 was fine. She appeared to be calm and was smiling when we came in. ¬†She was asking about granola bars that she likes and was a little worried she might not… (more…)

VISITING

Tonight we will be visiting with Sweetie 4 at the detention center.¬† I have not seen her since Monday.¬† We¬† don’t know what to expect, other than the usual smell of the center when you walk in, the heavy doors, the buzzer that locks you into a room and the glass window that divides us and keeps us from being… (more…)

So There Is This Boy…. :)

The Sweeties are getting older. ¬†Sometimes I miss the days¬†of this: ¬†¬† But these days are precious too….They are just the beginning of more change. ūüôā AND CHANGE THERE HAS BEEN…. There are now “Homecoming Dances” and respectful requests to talk to “Dad”….. And pictures with good friends And special friends….. Daddy is still very special…. ūüôā And he still… (more…)

Order to Apprehend

Yeah, that is a fancy way to say there was a warrant issued for Sweetie 4’s¬†arrest. ¬†She was apprehended at school today. Once again, Sweetie 4 has found herself in the middle of turmoil, drama and incarceration. We are at a loss for words. ¬†The¬†only thing¬†a parent can do if a child is dead set on destruction, is cry out… (more…)

Sweetie 2 Had Surgery

(This video is from ¬†5 years ago, but it is one of my favorites. She danced for my birthday) Many of you know that two of our Sweeties are amputees. ¬†Sweetie 2 has a below the knee amputation of her left leg. ¬†She is an amazing athlete, dancer and daughter. ūüôā She has grown SO MUCH! ¬†She wasn’t expected to… (more…)

Keeping Your Feet On The Ground…. When Everything Is In The Air!

Sweetie 4 is continuing her spiral downward once again. ¬†It is so very hard to watch. ¬†And it is something completely out of our control. ¬†The choices she continues to make, may land her back into juvenile detention for awhile. But you know what? ¬†We are at peace with how we are trying to guide and help her. ¬†As her… (more…)

FRUIT

We planted 2 fruit trees about 12 years ago in our front yard.¬† One of them died and the other one lived.¬† It was a pathetically sickly little tree for its first few years, and then it seemed to have deeper roots.¬† Every year it would blossom, but all the blossoms would fall off prematurely, and there was no hint… (more…)

Progress

Parenting children who come from very hard places is not an easy feat!¬† We are making GREAT progress!¬† Sweetie 4 snuggled in tonight and expressed herself well!¬† She is working hard. So PROUD of her! And I am so proud of her sisters for pressing into family! We will ALL make it through, learning and growing along the way! I… (more…)

A Celebration!

Friday, we celebrated Sweetie 3’s 9th Anniversary!!!! She is such a precious girl.¬† She came home at almost 8 years old from a special needs orphanage in Ukraine.¬† Her journey has been nothing but miraculous! Sweetie 3 is blossoming into a beautiful young woman and let us know that she will be voting in the next election! WOW! That puts… (more…)

Sometimes There Are No Words

I was thinking about a title for this.¬† All I could think of was, “Devastated”¬† or “Shattered”. But those words are without hope or purpose, though they may be used to describe feelings we have had the last few weeks and certainly the feelings of Sweetie 4. I feel that I owe an explanation for my lack of writing in… (more…)

New Year, New Thoughts

It has been an amazing year, and here we are in 2015! Where did the time go?¬† We had a wonderful holiday season, and will be celebrating Ukrainian/Russian Christmas, by having a traditional¬† meal on Wednesday evening, with dear friends. I have had so many thoughts going through my head these past few weeks, but have not been able to… (more…)

BABY JESUS: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS

I remember teaching Awana a few years back. I was teaching my favorite group, the “Sparkies”. It is such a great name for Kindergarten to 2nd grade. They are kind of like little “sparklers”, all over the place, but if you aim them in the right direction, they just sparkle and shine.It was Christmas time, and we were of course… (more…)

Holiday Time

We hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!¬† We had a great time with Uncle Bob, and our extended family.¬† What a fun day! It was really nice to see Sweetie 1 enjoy her birthday this year! She has always dreaded holidays and birthdays,¬† but this year she looked forward to it! She even asked to go to Razoos and… (more…)

Stretching and More Stretching

The girls entered College, High School and Jr. High this year.¬† It is a year of stretching and learning for all of us.¬† It is good! Some of the new social settings have been a little shocking. We were pretty “protected” in our little cocoon of love, and the girls have been exposed to some realities that are out there.… (more…)

A Right of Passage

Sweetie 3 took her driver’s test to get her permit yesterday. She passed! That means, mama has to come out of retirement from teaching children to drive, and start all over again! Honestly, I wanted to pass it all over to Mike, but I know that isn’t realistic; though he will take his turns. This a.m. we went to ta… (more…)

All Is Well!

I received a letter from Sweetie 4’s English Teacher today.¬† It was a glowing report of how well she is doing! I was so pleased!!!!! All of the Sweeties are doing well in their classes. This week has been so different!¬† I don’t have 4 students to teach anymore.¬† I just have 1, and most of her classes are at… (more…)

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