Sunday, March 28, 2010

Concert and little boys

Well, Sumana got to go see her big brother, Jeffrey, in concert Wednesday night. His band, A Decent Tuesday, performed at 'Hot Topic' at Eastview Mall. There was a great turnout and Sumana actually enjoyed the concert. I don't know if she's getting used to the loud volume, or if the venue was a little easier on the ears . . .??? Before the concert we went to Tom Wahl's. For you out-of-towners, TW is a western NY hamburger chain. Huge burgers, homemade rootbeer . . . yummy, yumminess! Sumana ate an entire WAHL burger . . . complete with ham, cheese and all the fixin's! Who knew she could eat so much???!!!!

Friday night we had a 22 month old boy stay with us for a short respite for his guardians. We hadn't seen him in over 9 months, so he didn't remember us or our home. Sumana and the other kids seemed to break thru to him, though. He really warmed up to us and seemed to have a good time. On Saturday another little boy came (15 months old), so we had two little boys for the morning. Thankfully, the older boy left before lunchtime, so we only had one little guy for the rest of the day. Sumana LOVES little people. She was so good with them . . . she got right down at their level and played along with them. How cute!!

Today I led Children's Church. Check out this truly 'God thing': The theme of today's lesson was showing Jesus' love by helping others who are different than us. It was all about helping people with disabilities. We brought out Sumana's wheelchair and walker and talked about why people might need them. Some kids had older relatives who needed them, so they could relate on another level. Everyone had seen Sumana before, so they were comfortable talking to her about ways they could help her. I also taught them 'Jesus Loves Me' in sign language and talked about people who can't hear. It was a WONDERFUL experience and I think the kids really 'got it'. How cool that the ONE Sunday I sign up to help, it's a topic that our family is pretty passionate about. Yea!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Beautiful post and update

OK, you haven't heard from me in a while . . . of course that means I've been busy. Yesterday I actually was home all day and got through my ENTIRE 'to do' list (updating the blog wasn't on the list!!!) So, today I'm feeling a bit more prepared for the week ahead.

We had our difficulties last week, though. I guess this isn't MY difficulty, but we were sad to hear my Grandma Vera fell and broke her hip. We visited her once last week and she's doing pretty well . .. but in a LOT of pain. Please pray for her recovery. MY difficulty last week was dealing with Kathleen and her schoolwork. She is getting failing grades in some of her subjects and it's not for lack of 'smarts' . . . she's just not doing the work. AND, she's said some really horrible things to Andrew, too. It breaks my heart. One of my favorite benefits of homeschooling is the limited chance our kids have to be called names and picked on. I STILL remember the hurts from junior high name calling.

Well, then I read my cousin's post today. It is soooo beautiful. I HAVE to share it. We all have scars from hurts others have caused or poor decisions we have made. Megan's words and the associated link say it perfectly. Please read it and then listen to the song. You will be blessed! It's the Saturday, March 20th entry, called Redemption.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Thank you for praying!

Gretchen (17, Andrew (14) and Anna (20)

Zach (16), Jeffrey (19), Andrew (14) and Phil (ahem . . .)

Emily (12) and Kathleen (15) cutting veggies.

Noah (7?), Leah (almost 9) and Sumana (11)

Our amazing, budding mechanic: Jeffrey!!!

Thanks for praying for our 'adventure' to Tatamy, PA. We had a WONDERFUL time! ALL of us . . . .REALLY!!! The kids played board games, Wii, spoons and even 'Mennonite Madness!!!" What a riot! Check out the fun pics of Sumana and her good friend Leah. They were soooo cute! They both had been counting down the days til they could be together. Sumana stayed in Leah's room. At night they talked and even prayed together til they fell asleep. They were up and playing games by 7 am. Monopoly and Horse-opoly seemed to get the most attention.

The older kids played games like 'Faces', identifying old-time photographs with phrases that pinpoint the facial expressions. They also played spoons (dangerous!) and a new game for us, 'Mennonite Madness'. They had to write the numbers 1-100, but there was only ONE pencil and a roll of '6' on a die earned the right to use the pencil . . . that was pretty rough, too! Sunday morning we all went to church and in the evening all the teens went to a Cuba Gooding movie at the church, "Gifted Hands'.

The only bug-a-b00 in the weekend was the effects of the rain. I checked the info when we got home . . . we got almost 3 inches of rain and wind speeds were recorded at over 60 mph! Well, our big, green van was out in the weather. I totally forgot that it doesn't like to start when it gets wet . . . and it got REALLY wet. When it wouldn't start for church on Sunday, we got it into the garage to dry out. Today, Jeffrey tore the audio console off the van to get to the spark plugs. Who in the world designed it THAT way??? Thankfully, Jeffrey is pretty handy that way, so he was able to disconnect the spark plugs and dry things out with a hair dryer. Once he got the van running, we put things into overdrive to pack it up and get on the road. We made it home in 4 hours, with no incidents. I am truly thankful!

AND, I must report that our new daughter handled herself quite well. There were several intense moments, but all in all, she held her tongue and temper very well. She even announced when we got home that she had lots of fun on our weekend! A BIG thank you goes to the Tielmann family for bravely welcoming the six of us into their home of 9, already! The other sad note, though, is that Greig had a really rough weekend at Crosswinds and he ended up not coming down.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

We're off (almost!)

Well, we take off at 5pm tomorrow for our weekend in Pennsylvania. We're all really looking forward to seeing our friends . . . too bad it's supposed to be rainy!

Today Sumana got caught up with a lot of her schoolwork (as you can imagine, it's been a rough week!). She also had PT and got to hang out at the library for a bit. She just LOVES the library . . . it's pretty cute to see her sitting in a chair reading, or looking for a new book on the shelves OR (get this!) using a computer to find a book she wants. I often forget that she IS 11 years old. She really is becoming pretty self-sufficient. (YEA!!!)

We would appreciate your prayers as we are on our trip: Kathleen has been a handful (or should I say 'mouthful'???) We want to make her part of the family and hope she'll enjoy the time hanging out for the weekend, but she REALLY needs to watch her mouth so we can ALL enjoy the time. I'm realizing how I've slacked off with the constant, intense praying that I've enjoyed in the past. It's that same old, "if things are going good, I don't seem to need God as much" BUT, "if things are bad, I'm on my knees all the time!!" It's amazing how many times I've repeated this pattern . . . when will I ever 'get it' that I need Jesus ALL the time!!!???? Well, thanks for hanging in there with us!!!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Happy Tuesday!

Boy, am I having a hard time getting on the computer! We have been soooo busy! Things are going well, though.

Many people have asked about how Gretchen's first date went. She and Nate had so much fun. They had dinner at Ponderosa and then came home to hang out. Nate gets high marks from me 'cause he could quote Napolean Dynamite like nobody's business. We just laughed and laughed!

Meanwhile, poor Sumana has had to share Mom big time with Kathleen. I can't get over how many times I've had to go to the school for 'this' or 'that' and then getting her caught up with appointments. UGH! I have not been nearly as faithful as usual getting Sumana on the treadmill. Thankfully, we're keeping up with all the exercises. She is sooo excited about going to Tielmanns this weekend. "I can't wait to play with Leah and her little brothers!"

I've made it through five of my 8 day work 'week'. I'm working more this week because another clerk is on vacation this week and I'm taking NEXT week off.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Dr. Sanders video clip

I finally had a minute to look up Dr. Sanders' team's video. Here's a link: If it doesn't work, the video is called: URMC Medical Team Helps in Haiti. I found it by just searching on Youtube.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Wow, March is here!

I can't believe it's March 5 and I haven't posted yet this month! As you might expect, it's been a VERY busy week with appointments and my work schedule. Last night (Thursday) I began an eight day stretch of work that goes through til next Friday (except Sunday, of course). In addition, we have Sumana's two sessions of PT, court for Kathleen and a foster parent support group meeting (which I REALLY need!!!)

Sigh . . . . I'm already looking forward to NEXT weekend. We're ALL travelling to Tatamy, PA for a long weekend with our college friends, the Tielmanns (and their seven kids). It'll be nice to relax and catch up on each other's lives. Kathleen will go with us, too . . . Greig is actually coming later in the weekend.

The kids are still in the dark about this, but it is now official! We own the Wii console and Wii Fit Plus and balance board!!! I'm not sure when we will 'unveil' it all, probably after our weekend with the Tielmanns. The older kids are 'off' for Spring break and since we're not heading South to visit my parents, it'll provide something new and different for us all.

Last week I mentioned deciding to go ahead with braces for Sumana's teeth. Well, SCRATCH THAT! (to the tune of 5,000 scratches!!!) Her braces cost more than Andrew AND Gretchen's braces PLUS another $800!!!! Insane! Her monthly brace payments are the amount I would expect to pay for a CAR!!! (Can you hear my sarcasm and disbelief???!!!!!) I'm getting a second opinion for Sumana and an initial evaluation for Kathleen with an orthodontist in Penn Yan. Unless the cost is a whole lot different, our girl will NOT be getting braces.

Well, I must sign off quickly, I am a very excited and nervous parent this evening. Our girl, Gretchen, went on her very first date tonight with a very nice young man she met in her Music classes at FLCC. Nate even called earlier this week to talk to Greig and get his permission to take her out to dinner. Yikes!! I knew this day was coming . . . . but it's here NOW!!!!