Friday, September 30, 2011

Anna made it home and she is trying to smile :)

We came home tonite and Dorothy is right, " There is no place like home." Although Anna did very well. She did not throw up at all !!!! She almost did about 6 times but I talked her threw it and with all the meds...she did not. This was the first of many surgeries she has had where she did not. She is very swollen which is normal but doing well. She had alot of work on the inside of her mouth and upper lip and she has a metal plate that the bone adheres to that goes from her lip up to her eye. The surgeon felt like it was successful but we will know if the bone graft took at her post op visit. She had 2 previous bone grafts that did not take. Now at home she is on the soft diet for a month and mouth washes and whatever pain meds or nausea meds she needs...No straining or lifting or bending over past 90 degrees and of course not rough playing...Recovering is the easier part now. So glad to be on this side of it.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I bet you can guess why she is smiling tonite.....

Tomorrow am Anna is having surgery. She is having this removed - Yeah! and a bone graft done. To say she is a bit excited is minimal...She is ready. She will have bone removed from her hip and placed in her upper jaw. That will actually be more of the pain source than her removal. She has had 2 bone grafts before for her front top gum area but they were not successful and she lost her front teeth. So she is not done with surgeries yet. There is a nose and lip tweek as well ....Hopefully that does it. Either way we are praising God tonite that the first half of her jaw surgery is done. She will be on a soft diet for another month and then normal . Please pray for her...She throws up alot. Even when they medicate her. Last time she threw up from 6pm to 1 am and then was fine. So we are not looking forward to that part .

I could not say it any better than this....

Our life may not be what we always want and some of us may hate our lives...but a child who is not fed, loved, or wanted would love the life we have. Special needs children are one group of people who are treated so poorly or thought not even worthy to be fed, or held or played with- How can we who live here in so much complain as I even read this am on some fb's . This picture puts it all into perspective...maybe you can open your heart and hand to one of these children.

Monday, September 26, 2011

This is how we home school - 19 children

We use 5 computers for some our school work. The kids usually work independently on math ,phonics or english skills. The older girls do online GED courses every day.

I start all new children in preschool and move them up at their rate. Selah is actually more advanced than preschool and she will finish her preschool work soon and move to the kindergarten curriculum. I am sure she will move thru that fast as well and settle into a first grade for longer. Isaiah is ahead of Lila but needs lots of preschool skill building like manipulatives , counting and recognizing numbers, letters and his name. Lila is learning lots of listening skills and socially appropriate behaviors as well as basic preschool skills like recognizing colors and numbers, counting and her name. She "plays" alot and is learning thru her play time. We often forget she just turned 3. She acts older and we have to constantly remind ourselves of her age with our expectations. All 3 do some phonics online. We feel it is important to teach all the kids computer skills so we do that thru mostly educational means. We also let some blog and email each other or IM.

We require all of our kids to read one hour a day. They all also have a reading book and have to read one story from that book daily. Some do this independently. Some like Josiah, Mya and Isaac read to someone for their hour. Abraham is the listener for the boys and Mya reads to Naty sometimes. This has helped them to read better actually. Doing work together like vocabulary words helps Isaac and Lily do it faster. Some of our kids take all day and then some to get their work finished. So we found that doing it in teams has helped them to work more efficiently.

We are doing something different this year. Our older girls grouped with 2 other younger kids. In the am they older girls teach or are available for helping their 2 siblings. They also check math and the writing before it goes to Dad's desk ( to be checked every evening by Paul). We are really stressing writing this year. If the little kids's writing is poor - like missing periods, captilizing mistakes or not complete sentences the older sister is held accountable too. We are trying to have the older ones learn some editing for their own benefit when they write. The older girls have the afternoon or evenings to do their school which this year for 5 of them ( Cate, Leah, Olivia, Rachel, and Naty) is their senior yr.. They are working towards their GED requirements mostly for their school. They do online math and english skills. They also go to a tutor on Wed. afternnoon. This buddy system has worked out extremly well for us as a mega family who home schools.

We are doing units on geography this year. I love teaching this subject.

 Each red dot represents the place where our children came from...All over the world- USA, Mexico, Russia, Ukraine, Bulgaria and Ghana- I have loved being in each country and learning all about their own countries as we have adopted.

Gracie benefits best from doing her school in a quiet space, one on one. She gets instructions on a preschool level and sign language.

Sometimes the children work independently.

We have been doing school for 4 weeks now and we have gotten into our routine. I love this time when we do. The first few weeks we are all getting used to having a more strict routine than summer and getting everything done...Now we have gotten the hang of life and things are going well. Then we throw in all the unexpected or expected disruptions like surgery but our school flows well inspite them now.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Celebrating and Praising

We call it..."We have a need for some music" and then the kids get crazy :)
Doesn't Luke lead his partner well ?

What are they celebrating ?

Happy 10th day of your birth Luke! Boy did we celebrate...Lunch out with Mom and Dad to Olive Garden. Home to play an afternoon of electronics. His chosen meal of chicken legs parmesian, buttered red potatos, green beans, and corn...followed by chocolate cake with chocolate icing...and presents and his choice of a movie...We also had a praise dance party :) We call it the need for some music. Then we turn on the music and let the fun begin.

Friday, September 23, 2011

We celebrated the first day of fall by

In case you were wondering what is on this is fried squash with onions on a bbque/pizza sauce. We also added some ham. We made lots of diff. kinds tonite. Ranch and alfredo sauce with bacon or chicken and garlic.

 Eating pumpkin pie and make your own pizza. Tonite we are watching some Halloween movie with dogs- The Dog Who Saved Halloween. This day is actually the autumnal equinox. Do you know what that means ? We studied this and other terms related to the seasons . It marks the first day of autumn when the sun's rays are shining directly on the equator and we have the same amount of day light as we do darkness...In the most simplest of terms. There is a spring equinox in March ( first day of spring). The other 2 seasons are solstices ( winter and summer). Anyway this week I learned some new things. This is one of the things I love about home schooling. This is our 24th yr of home schooling and it amazes me what I end up learning every year...

Thursday, September 22, 2011

It looks like a whole lot of standing around.....

 Last Sunday we had a deck building party at Keith's and Mary Kate's. Actually the older kids dug 7 holes for the footers of the deck. They called and had them inspected and got their second inspection after the concrete was poured in. It took a few hrs for them to dig and MK and I watched the little ones inside. Then Keith and MK treated us to McDonalds and donuts which we don't do to often....Stay tuned for our second deck bldg. party this wknd....and maybe next . Depending on how much they get done this wknd..

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I know you see them all the time ....but

I can't help but post more. They truly love their pictures taken....funny I saw Lila and Selah dressed like this today. I asked them if I could take their pictures. As soon as Isaiah saw me taking the girls he wanted his too :) I told you all before they so want very long hair. This is how they do these blankets every day and wear their hair like this all day long....even when we go out. It just makes me smile when I see their oh my do I feel blessed to watch them every day and see how innocent and joyfilled they are.

Their attachment has been so easy and we can tell that they were loved back in Ghana. Which to us is a big strength of the Ghana adoption program. The mom's just can't take care of their children because of poverty....but these children have been loved. You can tell by how sensitive to one another they are and how loving to others they are.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

One day they used a whole box of chalk

Do you think the kids are trying to butter us up some ( Hot mom and handsome dad )? One day they used a huge box of chalk up by drawing on our driveway....the next day it rained and washed it all away but they had fun creating .

Monday, September 19, 2011

Do you know why Andrew is so sleepy ?

 It is not because he is on any medicines...It is because he is up alot at nite :(  We moved him out of his pack and play because he was climbing in and out and destroying the room either way. We put him back in the pack and play because at least some of the time it contained him but last nite he must have fallen and cut his chin somehow so we moved him back to the mattress on the floor. His room is child proofed but he would find the handiwipes and pull them all out or the diapers would be scattered all over....We actually had our first evaluation of him in our home with a special ed. coordinator and pyschologist...this is how he was :) Sound asleep and not his usual active self. We have tried keeping him up but that does not help. He used to take melatonin when he first came home but that only helps you go to sleep . That is not his problem ...He won't stay asleep. So I talked with our pediatrician last week and next week we will see him for an evaluation on some medication to help him stay asleep all nite. Otherwise he is to tired during the day....

When he gets up he likes to play by banging on the wall or laughing so loud the girls above him can hear him. This is making it difficult to just ignore because it is keeping others up at nite too...I think he will have better days if he gets better sleep...So we are going to the next step with him.

Any suggestions or advice about sleep issues would be appreciated.