Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Ordinary Hero!!!


Wow, news this am that we are in the TOP 10 to win the OH grant! 5 days left until the contest is over- please help us win! Please shop today and help us win that $500 grant! Thanks for being Ordinary Hero's for our adoption! Please shop this link today! Can 10 more people step out and shop today??? http://www.ordinaryherostore.org/
To make sure we get credit for the sale, when you are in the billing section, you simply click on the drop down box labeled "affiliate name" and you will find us in that list under Oswald, Steven and Christine.  This contest runs through Sunday and we have a chance to add that $500 grant to our total sales grant!  We are getting down to the wire in bringing our girls home.  Just one more agency fee ($9000), then plan tickets for two trips and funds for over there.  I am working like crazy, we are doing a rummage sale in mid September and just really getting lots done!  We will get there!  Babies, we are coming!!!  As soon as the governments will allow! 

"For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans for hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Thursday, August 18, 2011

One of those days on the farm! LOL!

Well, it has been one of those days, in a humorous way.

The riding lawnmower - with the grass catchers on it that make our goats and horses very happy - has not been running well lately.  I did some research online and found that maybe it was the air filter - so the kids and I located that and cleaned that.  No better.

Then we decided to check the spark plug - well, that wasn't it either.  At least I know where it is now.

My time has been pretty tight lately, what with play practices for Alex, two different opportunities for me to work (and both buildings are busy, which is really unusual, but a huge blessing at this time), and getting Kiley to the stable for her training, and the usual dentist and doctor appointments and what not.  So, I hadn't done any further research.  The lawnmower sat sadly next to the goat pasture.  Sigh.  While the grass kept growing and growing.

And growing.  Can you tell that it is quite long in places?  I even let the mini pony out and a couple of the goats (the ones that don't tend to wander) to try to work on some of the grass.  Sigh.

So, beloved hubby came home from work today and fixed the lawnmower!  Yay!  We loved having him in the play, but oh, my goodness, did we miss him!  Anyway, he fixed the lawnmower!  Turns out that the fuel line was twisted and crimped.  I hadn't gotten around to looking at that yet - yeah, that was it!  Anyway, he got it fixed!   I got home from work and was so excited!  So, he took me over to the lawnmower to take a look and show me what he had addressed. 

And this is what we saw:






 Oh, look.  Greta, the Alpine dairy goat, out and running around out of the pen because she keeps getting picked on by the others.  Hmm...  Smelling suspiciously like gasoline.  The culprit has been found!

Hubby is now going to go the the hardware store on his way home - to get a metal gas line!


"For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans for hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

So much, all at one time, and some times, so little...

It is mid August and things are at a sort of lull, at least as much of a lull as we ever get.  Soccer is done, at least until fall soccer begins - and then one of our kiddos will start football too!  Play (Phantom of the Opera) is done for hubby, but play (Bridge to Terebithia) has begun for Alex.  Kiley has found her perfect show horse, bought him and we are working with a trainer for both of them.  Thankfully, Kiley and I can work off his training and board, so it is all manageable.  Yes, that means I am mucking out stalls and all of that.  Amazing those things that parenting brings you to.  Would I love the lottery, so I could pay for it rather than working it off - absolutely!!!  But to see them together, to see what God has brought, yeah, I can muck out stalls a couple times per week!! And I get to learn how to drive a skid steer!  Not to even mention that five years ago I had no idea what a skid steer was!

We have been so blessed, I have the opportunity for many extra hours at my temp job - which is great, except that I am tired!  But it is helping us so very much, that it cannot be described.  God provides, generally, in my experience, by work!  LOL!  Thanks!!!  I love to be able to help!

We also suspect that we won't get a court date for our little girls until late November. Court closed yesterday and is closed until October third (in Ethiopia).  I am working so hard not to be frustrated, all the delays, all the costs, etc.  We are STILL waiting on our tax return!  Sending more paperwork in to the IRS.  I truly wish President Obama had not included it in Obamacare.  It would have made my life so much easier.  Oh, well, maybe we will get it in time for our travels!  In the meantime, I make no plans for it, just plan to work my butt off and get it paid off that way.  If it comes through - hooray!!!

I love summer in WI.  It has been so hot this summer, following a great deal of rain - I literally gave up on my garden.  I intend to feed the goats off of what is growing out there!  Today we pruned some trees, cut down some burdock bushes, and the goats loved them!  I hope to keep that going - it would be so much easier if the lawn tractor worked, but it seems to have developed a mysterious malady and isn't running right now.  Sigh.  I have been using clippers to get the worst of it done, thankfully, we live in the country.

We are watching our beloved Abby, our white German shepherd, decline over time.  We got her from the humane society in spring 2002, when she was nine months old - my reaction to 9/11.  She has been a great dog, but arthritis is setting in heavily for her, and today we realized that her hearing is going badly.  She no longer needs to be on a leash, she won't leave our property any longer, and she won't even try to jump on the couch.  We know her days are numbered.  We keep giving her glucosamine, but it hasn't seemed to help.  This will be a hard one, when we have to decide that she is suffering too much.  We all love her so much.

Well, I have to admit that I am tired, and that I know that leaving for the stable at 6AM is going to be quite early!  If I don't head to bed, I won't make it!  I know that this is a phase in our lives, and I try to live out every moment, but sometimes I am surely looking forward to a slower pace!  This is only temporary, I know this, but to be in the midst is tiring!!!

"For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans for hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Friday, August 5, 2011

A bittersweet, or not so bittersweet, day!

Today I write with sort of unusual feelings.  It is a mixed bag of a day.

See, eight years ago today, Kiley was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.  Our little, precious, energetic, challenging daughter was desperately ill.  We knew at least an hour or so before we were told by medical professionals.  She was very sick.  She had been developing this for some time, no one was sure how long.  I cannot even really put it into words, how it feels as a parent to look at your small child in what seems like a huge hospital bed, and know that their life has been forever altered, by the uttering of a few words.

But, that isn't really what I want to share with you today.  That pain, described oh so briefly above, is not what I want revisit today.  Today is Kiley's anniversary of her diagnosis.  We call it her "diabetes birthday".  At first we recognized it simply because we couldn't not forever hold that awful day in memory, we couldn't know when that particular date came.  We had to recognize it, deal with it, get through it.  But she, and another child newly diagnosed, really changed how we viewed it.  He called it his "live-abetes day" because he was LIVING with it not DYING with it.  We liked that thought.  Kiley wanted to celebrate it with all those things that might have been denied had she developed diabetes years ago - with lots of ice cream!!  So, to make a hard day easier, we started to celebrate it.  And eight years later, we still do.  Now, we have forgotten it once or twice, which tells you how lovely life is.  But generally, someone realizes it and we commemorate it.  Today we had ice cream and pizza.  Kiley had totally forgotten what day it was, two of her siblings were returning from camp, two are still gone on a mission trip, and Dad is in Phantom of the Opera and off performing.

But I remembered.  I remembered when I was at the post office and wrote the date for the first time that day.

My heart stood still.  It was that day.

I will never forget that day.  But what is best of all is remembering all the days since then.  Yeah, I try to ignore the bad ones, the days that are real battles against this monster we live with.  But diabetes is the disease.  Life is what we live.  Diabetes is what we take care of, or as we tend to word it - that we beat! - so we can live life well.

Today I celebrate my strong, vibrant, amazing fourteen year old daughter.  I celebrate all the hardship she has come through because it clearly has helped to define who she is.  I celebrate that she is so determined, and will push to achieve what she wants to achieve.  I celebrate that she is a dedicated equestrian, and athlete of high caliber, an actress of great caliber, determined to always give a good show, no matter what.  I celebrate that she can be a royal pain in her mama's backside - it tells me every day that she has the strength to get on in life.  I celebrate this child who has never given up.  Who has allowed us to carry her when she needed it, who is such a strong person to fight back when she needs to, who has the compassion of a saint (most times and always with animals, maybe not always with siblings), who is thoroughly enjoying having two of her siblings home, even though she won't admit it.

I celebrate quietly that her dad and I have managed to keep up the fight and to hide from her, some of the time, our fears.  I celebrate that she is who she is supposed to be.  I celebrate that while we may not have a cure for diabetes, we do have ways to LIVE with it.  And this child is the poster child of that.  She lives with it.  She is not a "diabetic child", she never has been.  She IS a "child with diabetes", though I likely cannot call this amazing young woman a child anymore, but you will allow me that grace, as I AM her mom, and I will always know that she is my child.  I have to remind myself at times, a hundred years ago, I would be visiting my child's grave.  There was no way to battle it, at least not for long.  We may not have a cure, but we have the miracles of insulin, both fast acting and long acting, we have insulin pumps and pen needles, we even have continuous glucose monitors.  We have hopes of much research in the works to improve my diabetic kids' health (remember, Aman has type 1 also), and maybe someday even find a cure, though what we have is good.  We are so much better off than we were in even the 1990's.  And that was while I was in college!!!  New things being discovered and refined daily.

I don't know what the future will hold for my kids with health issues, but I so rejoice in them every day.  So yes, we celebrate diabetes birthdays!  Throw a big honking party!  We beat it another year!  Look at this kid!  She is winning and it is a glorious day!!!!

"For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans for hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11