Sunday, September 28, 2008
This is an email that I am sending out to family and friends today. I thought that I would post it here because we consider you all our friends too! :) You know that I hate asking for money- but this is for Angeline and I know that some of you have asked how you might be able to bless her and her miracle life. Bean has had an especially hard time lately with using her walker. We believe that she knows she is different and starting to realize that is not something she is dealing with well. We know that with this bike it will open up so much more "world" to her. It's truly more than just a bicycle- it's freedom for Angeline and the opportunity to bring more social involvement with her peers into her little life. Thanks!
Also... if you know another child with disabilities that could be blessed by AMBUCS, please feel free to spread the word about their program!
Angeline's therapist "Ray" nominated Angeline for an Amtrkye therapeutic bike. Although our family contribution was significant- it just isn't in the budget to buy the bike outright in full. Ambucs has sponsored the therapeutic bikes for over 2000 children. Angeline is on a waiting list seven pages long... With the help of family and friends- we can bring Angeline's bike home even sooner!
If you scroll down to the bottom of the LONG page- you will see Angeline's picture as well as a "donate" link. If you feel led and choose to donate towards Angeline's bike- please make a note on your donation that it is for Angeline. Please remember that no donation amount is too small! We feel incredibly blessed that Angeline will have another option for her mobility someday!!
Once all the funds are in place, they will custom make her therapeutic bike and ship it to us.
Children with most all disabilities are able to ride the bikes because of the options they have in using them. Angeline's bike will have a full "seat" with a back on it, she will have foot pedals with velcro to keep her legs in place as well as hand pedals so she can pedal with her arms. Angeline's bike will also have a push bar- so we can push her from behind too.
The bike that Ray selected for Angeline will grow with her until she is eight or so- then we have chosen to gift the bike back to Ambucs for another child to use it. So it's the gift that keeps on giving!
For some reason they don't have the total price of Angeline's bike listed, but compared to the other bikes that children are waiting for, we guess it to be around $800.
Thanks so much for your time!
Sarah and Family
Friday, September 26, 2008
It seems that fall is definitely upon us and we are busier than ever. I am not sure at some moments what I was thinking letting the kids sign up for all the activities that they want this fall- it's good for them, but our schedule is busy compared to our typical lax home schooling lifestyle that we lead.
We are definitely never too busy to be missing and praying for our Isaac. My goodness these recent pictures are just too cute and they definitely convey Mr. Personality really well. I can't even express how appreciative I am to have these special moments captured- he is just too funny in the Aladdin outfit and my mind has definitely been sparked to put together a dress up box for Isaac to have at home. So far there hasn't been any updates on his paperwork and the mistakes- but we are hoping and praying its very soon that we hear something. (Something good of course!)
Right now I am home alone, I love to blog when I am home alone because there are no interruptions but the dog. (That makes it much easier to actually have complete thoughts without the tendency to ramble as I often do!)
My sister took two of the girls for horse back riding lessons (by her) this morning and the other children are with my husband (he is working four 10-12 hour days giving him yet another Friday off- we are so blessed) and they are dropping off some donations for a fundraiser that is going on this weekend and then they are headed to the park. Ahhh... hear me breathing?
I cherish having my children home all the time but after a long week of putting in so many school hours its nice to just have some moments to myself and be home alone. I am sure that you can all relate. This past week I attended a meeting with our new homeschool programs staff as well as the local school district that the program is in.
Let me give a little background there because Parent Partnership Programs likely aren't available all over the place. The way that it works is that the children are enrolled in the school district (not the one where we live but one that is close) and then our family has a coordinator that is a well experienced certified teacher who helps with the home schooling plan. The PPP does offer some classes right at their building two days per week, but for this fall we are an off site family. That means that we are home full time. We are able to access some funding from the program (from the public school) to help cover the costs of classes, tutors, books, art supplies, educational outings etc. We have to write a student learning plan each year, maintain weekly contact with our coordinator, and also have the students share what they are learning once per month. The learning plan needs to follow along with the State of Washington educational standards by grade level. The school also provides the required testing each year.
This year my children will be tested in the beginning and the end of the year (my choice) so that we can determine the levels that they are working at and to see how they have progressed by the end of the year. My guess is that most of MY children are ahead in Language Arts and behind in Math! :)
I also have two children on IEP's so they are able to access the special services that they need through that local school district. We also have one child being evaluated for an IEP and Lulu is going to start doing speech therapy in the next couple weeks. I think for right now this is the best fit for our family- there is always someone to ask for help and money available to get the help- but we still have the children at home and have all this time together. (Which is usually- 80% of the time, a HUGE blessing.)
I do hope that most of you have taken the time to watch the video that I posted below. It really is one of the most incredible and moving 10 minutes I have ever had.
Have a wonderful weekend! We have two children going to a rocket building workshop today, four soccer games tomorrow, two with skateboard class on Sunday, church Saturday night and Sunday evening we are taking our oldest son Jeremy out for his
22nd birthday! (That makes me feel especially old say that!)
I should add that Danny called this morning and Danny and his friend Cabot rented the apartment right next LITERALLY to Jeremy and Tyler. I guess that these brothers can't get too far away from one another. Danny and Tyler started college last week and while Danny has called three times to tell me about it, we still have yet to hear from Tyler (hint hint) who I heard was at the library this morning typing a paper and has been exhausted this week adjusting to his new schedule of school and full time work! We are keeping you in our prayers Tyler that you have a restful weekend to catch up on some well deserved sleep!
Isaac's Momma who is trying to find more patience! :)
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Thank you Kendra for tutoring me and helping me SO much already with my reading. This morning I was getting my Mom a can of pop and I said- "Mom it says DIET PEPSI on it- I know because I can read it now!"
We are so proud of Lulu as she comes into this new world of reading everything in sight. It's so exciting! Thank you Kendra.
What are you doing this Saturday, September 27?
September 27 is the ServiceNation Day of Action. We're ready to show our leaders a national, nonpartisan people-powered, demonstration of the potential that service has to solve problems and unite America. We are partnered with GreenJobsNow and National Public Lands Day, and altogether we expect more than 3000 events all over the country. More than 100,000 people—and it could easily be more than 200,000--are expected to participate. What will you be doing?
Rally your friends, grab your kids, and go to http://events.servicenation.org/ to find an event in your community.
In case you need a little inspiration, here's what some other people are doing:
In Fife Lake, Michigan, an entire town will rally to rebuild Larry Dillon's house. Larry, a long-time service believer and AmeriCorps alum, has been fighting terminal brain cancer and struggling to complete a major renovation he and his wife have been working on for years. On September 27, the entire community will come together to finish the work so his wife will be able to live in the house they both dreamed of after he is gone.
In Atlanta, Georgia, volunteers will help out at a trunk show for the Enchanted Closet. The organization has worked for years with low-income, at-risk girls in their communities. The girls involved develop and launch business ideas, and many return as volunteers. For the Day of Action, donated clothing and accessories will be sold to members of the community, and Enchanted Closet staff will talk about their work.
We've spotlighted other creative and inspiring events here: http://cts.vresp.com/c/?BetheChangeInc./77ec55a81a/9714d46c8f/791f4714fa
Day of Action participants will also be signing our idealistic manifesto, the Declaration of Service. We want to get a million signatures, so if you haven't signed already, help us out by going to http://cts.vresp.com/c/?BetheChangeInc./77ec55a81a/9714d46c8f/0a3324cc35.
You can even sign by text message if you prefer: just grab your cell phone and text PLEDGE to 90999. And then get all your friends to text in, too.
September 27 is your day to shine and help ServiceNation demonstrate what is possible in a time of uncertainty when Americans pull together to solve problems.
Go to http://cts.vresp.com/c/?BetheChangeInc./77ec55a81a/9714d46c8f/aa7baac662 and get involved. Hope to see you out there!
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Friday, September 19, 2008
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Today we put away the home schooling books an away I sent the kids to the library with the word SUFFRAGE.
They had to do some research, check out some books, pick up pizza for lunch, and then come home. Over pizza we talked about the history of voting in our country, then after cleaning up- we watched Iron Jawed Angels.
(Thanks Mom for passing on the rec. to watch this great film.) It is rated pg-13 and there are some graphic scenes, as well as one "sexy" part- but it is so important that our children learn the history of voting in our country and the right that generations of women before us fought for! No matter who you are voting for this year, just vote! And please if you have young adult children who aren't registered to vote, help them to get on the ball! :)
Today was the kind of home schooling that I love and that my children love. No pressure, just researching and learning together as a family and the discussions were priceless. I wish that all days could be like today- but my children also need to learn math and grammar too.
This weekend Grace (whose picture is below and who is growing up WAY too fast) is going "bat caving", so she will miss her soccer game on Saturday. We still have three other games on Saturday- not to worry! Saturday night is busy with church and going to a friends for dinner if we can fit it in- Sunday I am helping throw an adoption shower for a friend, and Sunday also happens to be Christella's birthday- so I have been a bit extra teary eyed this week thinking about sweet Ella. Please say an extra prayer for her family if you think about it.
Friday, September 12, 2008
Here are some delightful pictures that my children took this week. It's always interesting to see what I will find when I upload the pictures.
Angeline's eyes are healing well. The redness is starting to go away and we are doing the eye exercises with her to try to get her to bring her eyes IN more. Sometimes I think that they look great, and other times they still seem to wander a lot. We won't know for sure if the surgery was a success or not until her appointment in October. Pray!!
We also finished re-doing Lulu and Bean's room this week. Pictures coming soon! It looks adorable!
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
It costs RHFH $40 per day to filter the water to supply water to at least 250 people- would you consider donating some money for this cause? Keep in mind that the children at the rescue center are there because they are ill, some desperately ill- and just caring for them in and of itself is a momentous task- now without water- I can't even imagine- can you?
And please everyone, please pray for Haiti!
From the book RED LETTERS:
Jesus said, " Give away your life; you'll find life given back, but not merely given back- given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity." (Luke 6:38)
Sir Winston Churchill said it this way: "We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give." If we open our lives to the needs of other people and our world, we receive in ways that boggle the mind. I am not saying that your generosity toward others will earn you first prize in the lottery or a date with the man or woman of your dreams. I'm talking about receiving the intangibles that really matter- peace, grace, love, hope and purpose."
I copied the following from "manyblessings" blog without permission. (I tried to ask for permission but my email bounced back- I hope this was ok- if not let me know.) I just was really moved by her words and I think that she puts things into perspective so well- much better than I could!
The situation is Haiti is very desperate and I am coming here, not embarrassed to BEG for your help.
This afternoon, dh was on the internet searching for any news on the regular news sites, regarding the extreme damage in Haiti. Not surprisingly there is very little. To say it is discouraging and shameful is an understatement. A country has been devastated by 3 hurricanes back-to-back, and yet because it's not the United States being hit, our media chooses not to report it at all. What a selfish nation we can be.
But I also know that the people who read this blog are some of the most kind and compassionate persons I have ever had the privilege of getting to know. And because of that, I know that when I ask, you all will find a way to help.Northern and Central Haiti have been the hardest hit. The area around Jellybean's former orphanage has been damaged quite badly. It's hard to explain the "roads" in Haiti, but even in good weather the road from Cap Haitien to the orphanage was very bad. Now it is under water. There is no way for things to get in or out of the orphanage right now.
Praise God, they are well supplied, but it is the surrounding area that is making me a teary mess right now. Until things clear a bit, there is no way to find out about Jellybean's family. It is one of the hardest things to endure, to love someone so deeply, and yet to not truly know if they are ok. Dh and I are struggling through a new level of worry with this one.
But there IS something that you all can do.In Cazale, Haiti is a wonderful center run by two very good friends of mine, Lori Moise and Licia Bector. Real Hope For Haiti Rescue Center takes in and brings back to health many, many little ones as well as adults. Lori and Licia are amazing people, doing exactly what God called them to do. And I feel humbled to call them friends.
Cazale was hit very, very hard by both Gustav and Hanna. Lori and Licia deal with death and destruction every day, but this has proved to be an enormous situation for them. Lori is currently in the US for a short time, but Licia is in Haiti. They had prayed that Ike would spare them.It did not.Cazale was destroyed.Many, many people are dead. Lori's house was completely engulfed by mud and water (there are pictures on Licia's blog, just scroll down). Praise God, her life was spared because she was here in the US. The situation right now in Cazale is dire. The drinking water lines were unearthed and ripped apart by the raging mudslides and torrential rains. The only bridge in and out is not passable by vehicles. Food is scarce. Licia is paying people to haul water from the river. They are then filtering it the best they can to make it drinkable.Something most of us can't even imagine.So I'm out here and I'm begging.
Please, please consider giving funds to help them. On Lori's blog, about a third of the way down on the left, is a PayPal button. If you are able to give at all, earmark the funds to be dispersed to Licia to pay the people hauling water. They will also need money to start rebuilding. Most of the families around them have also lost everything. Gas is expected to rise for Haitians in the wake of the storms, so that will be another thing they will need money for.I'm not going to lie. I really want you all to open your hearts and flood them with love on this one. It's been a very tough month for them, physically and now also emotionally. I would love to know that we are doing what we can from here to give them some relief.Please click on the links below to see the devastation...After Hurricane Hanna and before Hurricane Ike
John and Beth McHoul's Blog-Heartline Ministries
Chris and Leslie Rolling, working with Clean Water for Haiti, also in an area that was heavily impacted by the hurricanes
Licia's blog-Real Hope for Haiti Rescue Center
Lori's blog-She's a nurse in Haiti working at the Rescue Center God bless....
Monday, September 08, 2008
Enjoy the adorable pictures, I know that we did!!
Still praying our son home. :)
Next month Isaac turns three. We "became" Isaac's parents just before his first birthday. This will be his third birthday without us. We miss you!!!
Saturday, September 06, 2008
David sleeping with Minky. :)
Since Lena has tubes in her ears we mostly give her sponge baths. She loves it. :)
Last weekend Uncle Terry took Dom and Lulu swimming. They had spent the night at his house with their cousins and didn't bring their swimming "stuff" as the swimming trip was impromptu. So naturally Uncle Terry lent them some clothes so they didn't miss out! (You can appreciate Lulu's outfit as much because of the bag she is holding- but those are her black cowgirl boots and the shorts are about 4 sizes too big- note the very LOW cut bikini top too...)
Yes my kids were in public for a better part of an entire day like this. (Visions of the Sound of Music scene with the kids in the tree's in the curtain clothes come to mind. Well at least the curtain clothes fit!)
Thanks Terry for giving my two youngsters a good time.
Thursday, September 04, 2008
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
We just said goodbye to Leishan and she doesn't know where she is going from here. She will likely be lined up in a couple hours at the homeless shelter for a bed to sleep on for the night. Leishan had shown over the past few days that she isn't ready to change.
We love Leishan so much, we all do! But we will NOT enable her. We will support her 100% when she is ready to get the help she needs. We had thought that she hit rock bottom- but she hasn't "gotten" it mentally that she has hit that rock bottom. I have watched someone very close to me never realize his rock bottom before his death. I pray that my daughter wakes up, realizes she is worth more than this, and she feel's the Lord's love and grace around her, and let's us love her again.
Today is a hard day, but today is a good day. This is the cross roads of our adult child's life, and all we can do is pray that she chooses the right road to go down.
Thanks family and friends and blog readers for your prayers and support. And for coming together and standing strong for Leishan. (ie: not giving her money- also known as not enabling her). This is hard, its hard to say no, TRUST ME.
But if we don't say NO, Leishan will never learn to say NO. We are hoping by the weekend to hear from her and that she will have been accepted into a "clean and sober" house. We know once she makes up her mind to get healthy and clean- she will do it. She is a strong, strong young woman.
Here is a quote that sums up our thoughts:
"And so my prayer is that your story will have involved some leaving and some coming home, some summer and some winter... My hope is your story will be about changing... about learning to love a child... about learning to love others more than we love ourselves... We get one story, you and I, and one story alone. God has established the elements, the setting and the climax and the resolution. It would be a crime not to venture out, wouldn't it?... And you will not be alone. You have never been alone. Don't worry. Everything will still be here when you get back. It is you who will have changed." (Donald Miller, Through Painted Deserts)