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Thursday, November 25, 2010
I’m sitting here on Thanksgiving night, with a big mug of tea and a full heart. We had a wonderful day with family, but there is one thing that has been on my mind more than anything else when I think about what I am thankful for. It’s how far we’ve come from the daily agony of having a child with mental illness.
I watched a documentary about a boy with autism the other night and remembered all too vividly those long inconsolable meltdowns. The hopelessness of facing another day, another week, another year, with the same issues. The isolation from the world of normal family life, the separation from your child by illness that has stolen them away, wondering what the future holds for them, for you. Not daring to hope, but needing to hope enough to try the next treatment, the next therapy. Living in survival mode and when there was a lull in the symptoms only being able to try to catch up and take a breath.
I have been breathing for awhile now. She has been stable for many months. I don’t even remember since when. It wasn’t sudden or dramatic or the result of one particular thing. It has just been all of the right things coming together, in a way that only God can take credit for.
This past week she made the honor roll at school. She is figuring out her social world and building relationships with her peers. She takes personal responsibility for her homework and her time. And I most proud of how she helped me chop vegetables for our thanksgiving cooking this week. She worked WITH me. It sounds like such a simple thing but it’s one of those that I naturally expected my little girl to do with me, and I have had to set aside so many of those dreams.
I used to not even dare to think that maybe the stability would last. But it has. The right combination of 4 different medications, weekly therapy with the same therapist for 6 years, and sending her to school. But mostly just waiting. Living the life God gave us to live, with the child he gave us, one day at a time. Sometimes just barely surviving those days. Relying on the prayers of the people who loved and cared for us, when I didn’t pray myself. It was a LONG eight or so years and I’m sure there will be some very tough times ahead. But I’m taking a breath now to say, she’s stable, thank you God, she’s stable.
Monday, November 1, 2010
I don’t want my kids to miss out on the fun of getting a big bag of candy on October 31st. But I don’t want all of that candy to become part of their bodies and brains either.
Beatrix discovered the wonders of candy last year.
And knows what she’s after this year.
But how do you get those darn tootsie rolls open?!
Maybe you just eat the paper…. hey Mom!
I guess pretzels are good too.
Acadia and Lily are not happy with only eating the pretzels. So we’ve come up with a happy solution all around…
The non-candy store.
In this store the goods are good for you and the candy is the cash!
Here’s last year’s store:
Strawberries, pistachios, spritzer, toys, games and art supplies
And here’s this year’s store:
Organic fruit sour gummy worms and bears, peanut and almond butter squeeze packs, sparkling cider, art and school supplies, socks, hair things, cups, and the coolest thing: window climbing ninjas.
They still had some candy left after buying all the stuff I had, (my prices weren’t high enough!) so they portioned out the rest for the next few days. But this is all the stuff I kept OUT of their tummies and off their teeth:
I know there’s other creative methods of cutting back on candy. What are your ideas?
Sunday, October 31, 2010
When I discovered that October 31st is the day protestants celebrate Reformation Day, that was the end of trying to come up with a Halloween alternative. Not only is there something else to celebrate besides the “harvest” or the “hallows”, it is something so important that it is the foundational to our faith as believers! For the last 5 years we have thrown a Reformation Day party and celebrated the important truths of Scripture that were re-discovered during the reformation. This year we focused on the truths that are found in the 5 Solas : Sola scriptura ("by Scripture alone") Sola fide ("by faith alone") Sola gratia ("by grace alone")Solus Christus or Solo Christo ("Christ alone" or "through Christ alone") and Soli Deo gloria ("glory to God alone").
Where can we find the good news? ~Only in the Bible
How can we be saved? ~ Only by Faith
How can we be accepted by God? ~Only by Grace
Who is our only hope? ~Only Jesus Christ
Why does God save us? ~Only for his Glory
We transformed our church building into the White Horse Inn, which was a place in Cambridge where the early reformers met to discuss the ideas of Martin Luther. His books were smuggled into England hidden in bales of cloth.
The kids had fun with our “horsey” theme this year!
And a good time was had by all.
Stay tuned to find out what happens to the candy my kids brought home!
Thursday, May 27, 2010
The last several months have been some rough seas for my kids. In December we went to NIH for updates in the research protocols that the girls are involved in, and they told us that Lily has ADHD. Finding that out seemed to trigger depression in her and she has really struggled with anger, sadness, and frustration in addition to attention problems. Acadia has not been very stable and her nighttime anxiety has become OCD. All of this has made homeschooling very difficult to say the least. Having two kids at home together trying to do math while riding emotional tides and attentional tire swings is a perfect storm. Throw in a vocal toddler who wants to be in the middle of everything and the S.S. Homeschooling starts going down.
We have decided not to go down with the ship. I love homeschooling, when it is what it is intended to be: A nurturing environment where kids can learn and grow. But it has become something else. And it has not been good. I care too deeply about the emotional health of each of my little girls to pretend that we can just continue this way.
This is a big leap for me. I have not thought about sending my kids to school before. I feel like I have been brought to this moment and then given the grace to make the decision and move forward.
While Dan and I were in the process of discussing this, I was reminded of a song I have loved for some time. It’s a reminder of who is in the midst of the “perfect storm” and that the safest place to be is out on the waves with the God who controls them, not clinging to the boat that is sinking fast.
Oh,what I would do to have
the kind of faith it takes
To climb out of this boat I'm in
Onto the crashing waves
To step out of my comfort zone
Into the realm of the unknown
Where Jesus is,
And he's holding out his hand
But the waves are calling out my name
and they laugh at me
Reminding me of all the times
I've tried before and failed
The waves they keep on telling me
time and time again
"Boy, you'll never win,
You you'll never win
But the Voice of truth tells me a different story
the Voice of truth says "do not be afraid!"
and the Voice of truth says "this is for My glory"
Out of all the voices calling out to me
I will choose to listen and believe the Voice of truth
Voice of Truth ~Casting Crowns
Friday, May 14, 2010
Gotta love the perks of homeschooling. Spontaneous field trips!
Monday, May 10, 2010
We started eating real whole foods last fall. But I hadn't been losing any weight. Dan asked me if it would be motivating for me to have a goal/reward/carrot. I said well, yeah! So we came up with the goal of losing 10 pounds and he would get me the Wii balance board and Wii Fit Plus. I accepted the challenge. It took me about two months and I am still losing. I LOVE playing on Wii fit, but that's not really how I'm losing weight. I promised my facebook friends I would share my secret so here's what I'm doing.
- Eating whole foods as much as possible, avoiding processed foods, corn syrup and artificial sweeteners.
- Replacing vegetable oils or shortenings with traditional fats and oils.
- Drinking raw whole milk and eating full fat dairy, butter, cheese, etc.
- Limiting breads and giving up processed cereal.
- And my number one secret for making this all work.....COCONUT OIL!
Here's why I think the extra virgin coconut oil is the catalyst for my weight loss. It contains medium chain fatty acids that increase metabolism, keep me feeling satisfied longer, and reduce my sugar cravings. I cook my eggs in it for breakfast. I put it on my oatmeal, in my coffee or tea, or make a warm vanilla milk drink with it. I sometimes cook or bake with it when it fits the recipe. I use a couple of tablespoons a day, and when I hit a plateau with my weight, I make sure to work on incorporating it into my diet more. Find out more about coconut oil, good fats, and weight loss here.
So that's my secret. It's working well, I'm not hungry, I try to limit portions, but I still eat dessert sometimes! I'm trying to excercise too. I have lost 15 pounds so far and am hoping to lose more. I feel like the food I am eating is nourishing me, and my body is letting go of what I don't need now, that it's happier :)
Monday, May 3, 2010
Let me know if you try either of these hot tips, I'd love to know what the tellers tell YOU!
Saturday, May 1, 2010
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
What would you do if someone threw things at you from across the room
What would you do if they threw something at your child and she screamed in pain
What would you do if someone followed your child around day after day and screamed insults and accusations at her
What would you do if they ripped photos of your children out of their frames and destroyed them
What would you do if someone could make your child cringe with just a word or a look
What would you do if someone made your baby cry in fear
What would you do if someone like this was with you and your family 24/7
What would you do if this someone ... was your little girl?
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Friday, January 29, 2010
One of the big challenges for our family in eating real food right now is what to eat when we are in town and haven't packed a lunch. Cadi has been going through fast food withdrawal, but we are making progress.
Tonight, we were out shopping and had planned to head over to Bagel Central but they close early on Friday night for the Sabbath. Out next stop was Target so we decided to throw in the dishtowel on getting good food and get something from the snack bar. I will NOT tell you what Dan and the kids ate other than to say it was "foodless food" as Holly has christened it. I was
The girls were also highly amused by Dan's warning to them that they might not be able to get pretzels at Target because the machine might be broken or something. When we got up to the counter, lo and behold, the woman told us the pretzel machine was broken! (Miller family smirks and giggles.) She said that the pretzels in the case were just for display. I'm thinkin' those ones probably have as much nutrient content as the ones they make anyway.
I still need to work on more ideas for eating on the run, but at least now I have two. Tomorrow I'll be making granola bars, which would also be a good thing to pack for snacks in the car, but I have a feeling they won't last long around here!
Monday, January 25, 2010
'Bout time for a blog post with family pictures eh? I thought so too. When it snows, my family has a tendency to be gloomy about it. But once you get out there and start playing in it together, it is kind of fun. That is, if you can find your boots, and mittens, and your ski pants feel just right.
Mom thinks I can't possible move in this snowsuit,
but the bathroom door is open and now is my chance.