Life is made up of many pieces, like a puzzle. Here I attempt to put them all together.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

My New Blog

My new blog is up and running. Please check out Embracing Life and I hope you enjoy it. 

Sunday, December 19, 2010

New Blog

After thinking about it for a while I've decided to start over with a new blog. I've had fun here but I think it could be better organized and put together. So my new project right now is setting up my new one. I'm hoping to have it up and running Jan 1, 2011. When it is running I will post the link here.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

I'm taking a break (it's 12:30AM) while I wait for the dishwasher to finish it's cycle and another load of clothes to dry and getting in a little blog time. I just finished off two cups of coffee so I should be good to go for awhile.

Michael had a rough night again last night and was awake from 10:30 to 1:30. So far tonight he seems to sleeping much better. He's tossed and turned some but never woken all the way, so that's good. I still haven't figured out what causes the restlessness at night. It seems random and he never really gives me answer when I ask him what's wrong when he wakes up crying. Most of the time he says nothing hurts and when he does say something hurts it's hardly ever the same thing twice.

Today was the busiest day with children so far this week. At the busiest we had ten daycare children ranging in age from 9 months old to 11 years old. But things went smoothly for the most part.

One of our 4 year olds did have a bout of tummy trouble that caused him to throw up three times. After he rested a little while he seemed to be feeling much better and was really annoyed with me because I wouldn't let him get up and play in the play room. Instead I had him stay quietly on the couch in the living room and watch tv. I thought it would be a treat for him because the younger kids rarely get to watch tv, but I guess not.

One of our two year olds recieved his formal diagnosis of autism today. He was evaluated at the Kluge Children's Rehabilitation Center. We all expected this diagnosis and now hopefully more services will be put into place for him. He's been recieving therapy twice and month but needs more. He's a sweetheart but recently more challenging behaviours have been presenting themselves and he and his family need all the support they can get.

It's been really cold and windy here the last few days with temperatures in the teens and the wind chill even worse. Now we're expecting 3 -5 inches of snow tomorrow and I have to admit I will be glad to see it. Brown cold winters depress me. If it's going to be cold I want to see some snow. I've been watching the radar on WeatherBug and the snow is moving up into this area from the SouthWest. It should start snowing here sometime during the early morning hours.

And now it's time for me to go check on the dishwasher and see if I can unload it and start another load of dishes. I got behind today and the dishes piled up.


                                 ~ Love, Live, Laugh and Learn~

                                                                   ~ Rose~

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Today I started re-reading a book called Get Out Out of Your Own Way by Robert K. Cooper. The subtitle is The 5 Keys to Surpassing Everyone's Expectations. I enjoyed this book the first time I read it and am enjoying it again.

One line caught my attention while I was reading today and here it is - "To get out of the box, you have to see the box."

It's so easy sometimes to feel like circumstance have boxed me in and that there is nothing I can do beyond the four walls of this box. And I can't even see out of it because the lid is closed up tight and duct taped shut.

But as I was reading I began wondering what this box is really made of. Is it really as limiting as I let myself believe sometimes. Do I really have to sit here in this box and let the world go on without me because . . . because why?

The longer I looked the more I realized that my box is made of things that I am allowing to hold me in, but that really only have the strength that I allow them to have.

Here are some of the things that I have allowed to make up the walls of my box.

1. Other People's Actions
Why is it alwasy so easy to blame my problems on the actions of the other people in my life? It's common, we all do it, but it is so pointless and self limiting. And while I am lamenting that someone else is causing me so much trouble, the other person is going on with their life, often blissfully unaware of my perception of their actions.

How much more productive it would be to take an honest look at what is going on and make a plan of action. There are several things that could be done. Approach the person, explain the problem, and ask for input from the other person's perspective. It may be that with the information given them the actions would change. Or maybe I would change my view of things when I heard the other side of the story. Maybe a win-win solution could be reached. Or, possibly I need to simply look at the situation from all angles and find a way around it, through it or even a way to use it for good. But never do I need to sit and allow another person's actions to box me in.

2. Time
Sometimes it seems time is determined to box me in. I just can't make the days any longer, or put any more minutes into the hours. But usually, if I am beginning to feel boxed in by time I need to take a long hard look at how I am spending time. And spending is the right terminology because I can't really save time, or borrow time, what I have is what I am going to get, and whether I use it properly or not, it will move on and be gone.
So taking examining how I am spending the minutes of my hours is usually the first place I need to start. A minute slips by so quietly and smoothly it is easy to lose the value that can be gained from it. Living on purpose, and making conscious decisions about how I am spending my time is the key to escaping from the time box.

3. Money
All too often I let myself blame my sitting in the box on money, or the lack thereof. But if I allow myself to embrace that mindset, I will always be limiting myself. More money could always be used, but if I'm honest with myself there are nearly always things that can be done now, whether I have the money I think I need or not, that will move me further away from my box. I can study, read, take advantage of what is available to me within my current budget and as I take these steps, following the bit of path I can see now, the rest of the way always opens before me, whether through monetary means or other. But I have to take the first step.

These are just a few of the ways that I often allow myself to become boxed in and ways I am learning, sometimes over and over, to escape from the box and dance the dance of life. I would love to read the thoughts of others on boxes and finding freedom from them.
Somehow I have to get back to blogging regularly. I miss it when I don't but always feel like I have to have something profound, or really interesting or unusual before it's worth blogging about. But I have decided to drop those expectations since I'm not really such a profound or interesting person, and just blog about day to day life. I want there to be a pattern of daily posting to create a record of daily life around here. While it may not be the most interesting it's really not all that boring either and I don't want to forget the blessings and challenges of daily life.

It's a bit of a bummer that I accidentally ran my phone memory card through the washer yesterday and now I can't take pictures to post as well, but in a few weeks I should be able to get another card and then I can post pictures again.

So here's to more frequent posting. Let the fun begin!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Containing Chaos

One thing I've really missed since we moved into our new house is the baby gate in the playroom doorway. The playroom in this house actually has four doorways - one to the bathroom, one to the nursery, one to the living room and one to the kitchen. The bathroom and nursery have been gated for awhile now but the living room and kitchen really needed gates to keep the babies and toddlers out of the kitchen and away from the steps going upstairs from the living room. Those two doors are odd sizes so we had to special order gates to fit them. They came in today so Doug put them up this evening.

These are going to make my life so much easier!

Birthday Presents

I thought I would share a few pictures of the birthday presents I opened last night.

Doug bought me a stand mixer that I know I'm going to enjoy using. I've wanted one for awhile now.

Austin knows I'm always losing my pens and wasting way too much time looking for one so he bought me two packs of them.

Amanda bought me this very comfy pair of slipper boots. . . . .

. . . . . and this very cute teddy bear.

I am very blessed to have received such nice gifts and even more blessed to have such a wonderful family.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Tomorrow is my birthday. We don't usually make a big deal about the adults' birthdays but Amanda would not hear of that this time.

So this evening after dinner she started begging Doug to take her to Wal-Mart. And, as usually happens, she convinced him to go. Even though it's cold and windy and wet outside. (I think she has him wrapped around her little finger.) 

So after the little ones go to sleep I'm going to get to open presents. A day early, but she just can't wait.

Thinking back on this past year I realized that last year on my birthday I had absolutely no idea that in a year we would have moved into our own home. I knew eventually we would take this step, but I thought it would be three or four years down the road.

It's funny how much things can change in a year.

Friday, November 26, 2010

We started the day off with a good breakfast - eggs in a nest, bacon, hash browns, juice, coffee.

Then Doug had Austin back the van up to the trailor and hitch it up. More and more Doug is having Austin take an active role in his day to day work. This is providing him with some awesome real life experience in practical living skills. I've seen a big boost in Austin's self-confidence since they have begun doing this.

Then we went over to our old house and loaded up the last load of random stuff that was left there and brought it back to the new (to us) house. It's so great to know that all the packing and moving is done. There's still quite a bit of unpacking to do but at least everything is over here.

Of the three kids Amanda has had the hardest time with this move. She always has a hard time with change and this time was no different. Even though she loves our new home, she has a hard time letting go of the old one. She took my phone and was going through the house taking pictures of each room. I was looking through them this evening and found this one she took of herself.

What a sad face.

She cheered up quite a bit though when we told her we were going to McDonalds as a treat since they did such a wonderful job and worked so hard today.

Now her friend CeCe is here for the night and they are watching the Disney channel. Doug is watching Avatar on him computer and I am blogging.

~ Rose ~

Thanksgiving Day

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving and I hope everyone else did too.

Thaksgiving morning we picked up Doug's daughter and she joined us for a trip to Doug's parents home.

The girls were goofy, Austin slept, and Michael just enjoyed the ride. Michael does really well even though it's a fairly long ride - about and hour and a half. A couple times he did ask Doug if he could find Pawpaw's house. I always enjoy the chance to get out for awhile and this time I took a couple pictures of the scenery.

We had a delicious Thanksgiving Dinner prepared by Doug's mother. My favorite parts were the dressing, and the pumpkin pie. Oh, and the pink jello salad. I didn't get any pictures of the meal, I was too busy enjoying it.

The weather was nice and the kids had a lot of fun playing outside.

Amanda had the camara (actually my phone) part of the time and I found these pictures when she gave it back to me.

Can you tell she loves these boots?

And this is my favorite.

It was a great day.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Autism and Learning with Dolls

L, age 2 1/2, and in the process of being evaluated for autism ( all the signs are there), had a great time learning about body parts yesterday. He never really seemed to care before, at least not when we worked together. But yesterday he found a doll that made sounds and was fascinated.

I found it interesting that when the doll made laughing sounds he laughed as well, and when the doll made crying sounds he hugged it. So cute, and gave a little insight into his perceptions of emotions. As he played I would verbalize that the baby is laughing or baby is crying, baby is sad.

After he had sat near me and played with the doll for awhile he began to interact with me, so I started pointing out the dolls nose, ears, mouth, etc. I would point to the dolls nose and say "Dolls nose" and then tap his nose and say "L's nose." Then move on to ears, mouth, eyes, etc. He loved it. When we moved on to hands, feet, etc. he would double over laughing. For variety we would also point to my nose, my ears, and so on. We kept it light and playful,  laughed a lot and had a great time while grabbing a teachable moment and making the most of it.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Today went much more smoothly than yesterday although it was still very busy. I was just updating the log book and realized that over the course of the day 18 different children were here in childcare. Then with my own three added to the group it makes a total of 21 children ranging in age from 8 months to 12 years. As I write this at 8:45PM there are still four here. Two will be leaving around 10:30 and two are staying overnight.


A friend stopped by this morning just to say "Hi" and brought along sausage biscuits from Hardees for both of us. It was such a positive way to start the day. Since it's hard for me to get out sometimes she occasionally just stops by just to chat.


Doug took Austin and Michael to the child/youth program at church this evening. Austin's friend Tristan went along this time. This is my weekly break from Michael, who always does wonderful and charms everyone in church and then reverts back to the same oppositional behaviour as soon as he comes home. Although the last few days he's been quick to say he's sorry after an episode, often on his own.


Micheal and I made homemade finger paint early this morning fully intending to use it today but somehow our plans kept being derailed and we never got it out. But we sure did have fun mixing the colors anyway.


And that's about as exciting as it gets today. I'm hoping to hear something a little more definitive about the house tomorrow. Like I said before, I am not very good at this whole waiting thing.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

This and That

  • We have much more hope right now that  the house we are hoping to buy really will be ours. I'm not good at waiting for answers and it's been rough waiting since Thursday evening for them. But finally this evening we were able to talk to someone and it looks like it's going to happen. Not set in stone yet but hopefully heading that way. I'm excited again.
  • I took this picture yesterday to commemorate the joy of seeing brother and sister getting along. Unfortunately it didn't carry over into today. I know they love each other but Wow! They can really argue!

  • We are happy that two more new children joined our crew this week. Kansas is 7 years old and is here 2 -3 evenings a week and Jayden is 15months old and here 6 mornings a week.
  • But I was sad when this morning, the very first morning that Jayden was here, he fell and bumped his head on the door frame resulting in a rather larger goose egg on his forehead. Why do these things always seem to happen on the first day?
  • We had two children out sick today. I hope they feel better soon and we see them tomorrow.
  • Our new history book The Story of the World Volume 1 finally arrived. We started it yesterday and really enjoyed it. Unfortunately our afternoon school session was interrupted so we didn't get to read any more of it today. We were able to get math, reading and Bible done before I had to call an end to schoolwork for the day because of very cranky babies. I had planned to include history and literature today as well but it just wasn't going to happen. But tomorrow is another day and should be a much easier one. I sure hope so anyway.
  • This afternoon a friend of ours from church came over and had Doug help him work on his truck. Michael enjoyed going out and "helping."
  • And now I think it's time for me to go make sure I have things set up to run smoothly in the morning. First child is scheduled to be here at 5:15AM.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

  • We had a great service in church this morning. A visiting evangelist (whose name I simply cannot remember) brought the message. His opening question was "Are you famous in Hell?" He then went on to challenge us to be the kind of Christ followers who make Satan cringe because of the way we allow Jesus to work in our hearts and lives, allowing His Light and Love to shine to those around us.
  • I made another batch of homemade playdough this afternoon since the kids had mixed up all our other playdough until we simply had a big grayish, greenish, brownish mass. I always think it's so fun to mix the colors and see what shades I can come up with and Tammy and Amanda joined the fun, mixing up some colors of their own.
  • It was a fairly quiet day as far as the daycare goes. One child stayed overnight and left just before we went to church. Another came just before time for church and left this afternoon. Three more came this evening and left around 8:30.
  • This afternoon Doug took Austin to his friend Aaron's birthday party. Austin and Aaron have been best friends for years and spend as much time together as possible
  • I'm looking forward to beginning a new week and hoping it brings us some good news about the house.
I hope everyone had a great weekend and has a great week.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Notes From the Last Few Days

  • The last couple days have been frustrating.
  • Everything was moving along smoothly on the house we are hoping to buy until Thursday evening when we hit a snag. Now we're very hopeful but uncertain if everything is going to go through or not. Waiting for answers is the hardest part.
  • Amanda and Doug were both hit by a stomach bug this week. Amanda's started Wednesday night and Doug's Thursday night. It seemed to be a 24 hour bug. They are both feeling much better now.
  • Mona was not so lucky and was unable to come in to work for 2 1/2 days. But we're glad she's feeling better now.
  • Michael has been beyond difficult the last few weeks and I'm at a loss to know what to do next. Consequences and punishments don't seem to work. Extra time and positve attention doesn't seem to work. Ignoring doesn't seem to work. Today has been full of multiple temper tantrums, outright defiance, even a table turned over in a rage. He oftens sneaks out the door and runs away. Doug and Mona have been trying to take him with them often to give me a break which I greatly appreciate but I'm still exhausted.
  • On a happier note, we had some delicious homemade vegetable soup for lunch that Mona made yesterday so I would have an easy lunch. For dinner we had homemade pizza that I made while Doug took the little kids outside to play. Yummy!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Bits and Pieces

  • We had a new child begin daycare with us today. A big welcome to Gabe. His first day went very well and we're looking forward to Gabe coming back on Thursday.

  • The home inspection on the house we are buying was today. We got a pretty good report. There are a few minor repairs that need to be done, but nothing that causes us a lot of concern.
  • Since everything is moving along so smoothly with the house it looks like closing may be the beginning instead of middle of November. We're planning to go ahead and pay the rent on the house we're living in through the month of November, however, so that we won't be as rushed while making the change.
  • As we're trying to get through all this with as little stress as possible, I am hoping the rest of us don't catch the stomach bug that bit a couple people today. One child had to go home early and Mona, my asssistant, only worked about 1 1/2 hours today because she wasn't feeling well. My house now smells like Lysol.
  • Yesterday Mona loaned me a book to read that I had a hard time putting down last night. Before I knew it, it was 1:30AM. Yikes. The book is A Lineage of Grace by Francine Rivers. Somehow I needed to read the stories of women who faced hard times and perservered. Women who dreamed and prayed and cried and laughed and in the end were used by God to bring about wonderful results. I will be reading some more of this book tonight, but hopefully this time I will stop reading before 1AM. I really need more sleep than that to persevere very much at anything.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Recent Reads I've Enjoyed

Abundance Blog at Marelisa Online I had a hard time choosing one or two articles from this site so I am simply sharing a link to the homepage.


Everywhere I look right now this is what I see.

Boxes packed full of whatever we think we can do without until we move.

And more empty boxes ready to be filled.

Oh, the joys of moving.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The best part of today - Austin and Amanda came home from a week of vacation with my parents. Yay! I always miss them a lot. This week however was so busy that I didn't get to spend to much time being sad that they were gone.

Here is some of the fun we had this past week.

The first, and most exciting to me is that we signed the contract on this house.

It's an older house, built in 1901, and I love it. Somehow I always feel more at home in the older houses. There is definitely less space here than the house we live in now but it feels like it's very workable. We will have about an acre of land with a two car garage and a storage building as well as plenty of space for the kids to play. And a garden spot. And room for the kids to each get a dog. I am SO excited.

So with the knowledge that we will soon be moving, barring any unforseen bumps in the road, I began packing. Since Austin and Amanda were gone last week and we were not doing schoolwork each day, I used as much of that time as I could to pack. I know that with the kids to care for, schoolwork to accomplish each day, and everything else that life tosses my way in seemingly random fashion, I will have limited time to pack so I'm trying to get as much done as possible when I have the time.

Also keeping me busy this past week were are tempory boarders. Tammy and her son Dustyn are staying with us temporarily. It has gone well, and she has been very helpful with the kids. But at the same time it calls for adjustments and those have to be worked through. We have a lot of good talks, laughter and evenings when we are both on the computer in quiet companionship.

After our busy week, it was nice to have a quieter than normal day. In a completely unplanned stroke of luck there were no daycare kids here today. It just happened that all the parents had a day off on the same day. It was my turn to be in the church nursery today. Normally Amanda would help me but since she didn't get home until after church Doug helped me. We only had a few children and it went very well. After church we went to the Chinese restaurant across the road from where we live for lunch. When we got home I took a short nap before we went and picked up the kids from my parents and took them to look at the house.

It's been a good day, a good week. I'm looking forward to another busy week with more progress toward the actual closing and moving date.