Saturday, January 31, 2009
I didn't work on Thursday! (Although I love my days to be with Taiger, I am worried that I don't have to go to work...this economy is killing us!!) Taiger and I had another FUN day! It was so sunny outside, and not too cold, so we spent some time outside! I took him out on his little four-wheeler. He had a blast driving it around our neighborhood.
Little Brother left for art school in California. He was driving, with Dad following to make sure he made it in his new (old:)) car. They came as far as Utah and stayed the night so we could say goodbye and to get Mom and Bryttan to ride with them. Taiger was sad to see Little Brother leaving. He and Taiger have a very special relationship and are VERY close. LB is Taiger's only uncle, and Taiger looks up to him SO MUCH! LB rebuilt an old hot-rod, which he drove to the Bonneville Salt Flats for Speed Week. LB talked about Speed Week and preparing for it. He worked so hard on his hot rod, getting it ready. Taiger got ALL into hot-rods and fixing cars because that is what LB was in to. Recently, I bought Taiger a little matchbox, hot wheels car. It is a hot-rod that looks like LB's. Taiger calls it his Bonneville car and it is BY FAR his FAVORITE car he owns (and he has a few!). He carries it around with him and just LOVES that car. He knows Bryndon LOVES Bonneville and hot-rods. The morning LB was leaving for school, Taiger ran out and asked him to come back in the house. When LB came back, Taiger said, "I want to give you a present. I want to give you my Bonneville car." Of course, LB would not accept the gift and asked Taiger to hang on to it for him. It was so touching, though, and LB and Taiger had more hugs and kisses over that.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
We then learned about Valentine's Day and made decorations for Valentine's Day. Taiger was so proud of his work he hung them on the fridge!! Of course, he was still a pirate, hence the hook.
Taiger then decided it would be fun to put the markers we had used for the crafts in his mouth and, using his breath, shoot them out...all over the kitchen. Taiger was a good boy and cleaned them all up after his little game.
Afrer THAT "fun", we went outside and Taiger went sledding in the neighbor's yard with the neighbor kids. FUN!
The last "activity" of the day was a warm bath! When Taiger got out of the bath, he wrapped up in his favorite towel...a snowman towel!! I had cooked dinner while he was in the bath. He ate and, needless to say, went RIGHT to sleep!
What a FUN day!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
I appreciate those people more than I can express!! I appreciate their advice and have learned a LOT from what they have said! I also really, REALLY appreciate their choice of words and the spirit of their posts, which were neither judgmental nor attacking in ANY way. I think it was very kind and compassionate of them to not want to make me feel bad, to not lecture me, and to not make me feel foolish in front of other group members. I wish I could THANK them for that...but I don't want to get onto this topic any more than we already have. I realize it is not a healthy topic for discussion on the group because it is something about which people feel quite strongly. Besides, I really didn't intend for the topic to be about immunizations, but rather about if anyone had suggestions for someone who does not immunize (whether they agree with it or not)...I didn't mean to start something. For that reason, I have not told Little Brother's story, nor anything else I have learned since Little Brother contracted Aspergers. It is not the right time or place to discuss whether immunizing is wise or not. I wish others would also see it is not a good place for that discussion.
It hurts me so much to have people say negative things about "people who don't' immunize". Someone even said she respects other's decisions, so long as their decisions are educated ones. I wanted to tell her how "educated" I am...how I have lived through the nightmare of my brother getting Autism from an immunization. I wanted to tell her of the horror Little Brother has lived through since that immunization. To tell her of the many reports and articles written about how immunization can cause Autism. I respect people who DO immunize...why can't people respect those who DON'T? I respect them by not posting my opinion on that group...I wish they could respect me and also drop the conversation unless it is in the spirit of simply informing and offering advice, as so many others on the groups have done.
I don't know who all reads this blog, and I don't know if those of you who may read it immunize your children or not. I certainly don't want to ever offend anyone over something like this, as I have been slightly hurt by this very personal topic. Anyway, I DO want to just end this post by asking you to PLEASE take a moment and read about immunizations and Autism. At least to understand why people like myself are concerned, and to understand how many people with Autism came to have it.
I found out that to travel to Ghana, one MUST have the vaccination against Yellow Fever. I was so worried and immediately began looking into the vaccine, to see what side effects there are, and, most importantly, to find out if it can cause Aspergers. I posted on a yahoo! group about my concerns. Lois emailed me and said that, "Yellow Fever is the least of your worries". Needless to say, I freaked! Okay, I know that sounds so immature...but it really is what I did! Posts began flooding the group about the importance of immunizing before going to Ghana. Lois posted each disease prevalent in Ghana and it's symptoms. I knew about all of this...I just didn't know Ghana was an area where these diseases were SO prevalent. I guess I should have known, really. When in posts it was said that this is a Third World country, indicating I should have KNOWN, I felt dumb for not looking in to the diseases in Ghana first, but I also felt slightly justified in my stupidity, as it were. I traveled to China, also considered by many to be a "Third World Country", without immunization or vaccination. Also, Ghana is not on lists of "Third World Countries" that I have seen, so I figured it must be "better" that other African nations, which ARE listed as Third World. I thought it would be a "safer" place to travel, and that is part of the reason I chose Ghana in the first place.
Anyway, it doesn't matter now whether I was stupid or not. What DOES matter is what I am going to do next.
I have spent the day almost in shock. I keep being reminded, "I am not going to Ghana". At least not with Taiger, and not for the months and months I had planned on. Each day, my mind is preoccupied with thoughts of going to Ghana. I envision our life there. I wonder what it will be like. I picture us in the guest house, at the orphanage. I see me teaching at the school. I see Taiger in a preschool room with other children his age, busy there so I can help the older children. I picture me with the older girls, facilitating healthy discussion and following my goals help them in every way I can. I love those girls already. I admire them. I wonder about them. I pray for them...as I do all of the children at Luckyhill. I pray for Kingsley's family, for their strength. I am amazed at their fortitude, their spirit of sacrifice, their closeness to God. I yearned to be in their presence, to feel of their spirits. I longed to learn from the people of Ghana, and especially from those at Luckyhill. To learn to be humble, to sacrifice for others. I wanted my eyes to be opened to the realities of life outside of the shelter of America. I wanted all of this for my son also.
But I know it is not all about what I want. It is about what God wants. I felt SO STRONGLY that I was supposed to be in Ghana in August. I knew I was supposed to be there in August. I am having a hard time accepting the fact that I will not be there. I keep thinking, there has to be a way. I have to be there in August. I suppose I need to stop thinking so much and have faith that if it is what I am, indeed, SUPPOSED to do, God will provide a way. Maybe I am supposed to go alone, without Taiger. Can I get immunized? I must pray to God for the answers I seek.
Saturday, January 24, 2009
When Taiger got his strike, we were quite excited for him! The noise upset him so he covered his ears. So, this is how Taiger looked when he got his Strike! He HATES loud noises! :D
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Today, I have a couple of things to say, but I will try and be brief.
I have taken music lessons since the beginning of time...not really, but it seems like it. I just LOVE music SOOOOOO MUCH! I have taken private vocal lessons since I was eight years old. I absolutely LOVE singing! I keep thinking that my love of music is something I need to share when I go to Ghana. However, I repeatedly tell myself I am CRAZY for thinking this! African's already LOVE music! By nature, they have music and rhythm talent and a love of music already. Music is part of their culture! What could I possibly teach or show them about loving music that they don't already know? Today, when I was at my singing lesson, my WONDERFUL teacher (she is a wonderful person AND a wonderful musician, having trained with the best of the best around the world!) expressed that she really things I need to share my music with the people of Africa when I go there. I was taken aback! We spent a lot of today's lesson talking about what I can do to bring music to Luckyhill. I prayed inside, asking Heavenly Father if this is something I should be thinking about. I felt that it was! So, I am preparing music and ideas and bringing supplies to bring music to musical people! It seems so strange to me that we would both feel strongly about this, but I will trust in The Lord and do what we both feel I should do! I have learned that God knows best! So, I should just follow Him. That is what I plan to do in this situation, too. It doesn't make any logical sense, but I will do it! One thing my teacher said to me today is that music, more than anything, brings people together. It softens people's hearts. Maybe I am just supposed to use the music I bring to soften someone's heart, or to reach out to someone with whom I would not otherwise be able to connect . I don't know for sure, but I DO know that I need to prepare to share my love of music, and I also KNOW that what my teacher said is right! Music speaks to the heart.
So, today was our "day off" work. Ryan had to go to work to meet people (wait, didn't I just say it was our day off?! HA! What a joke!) and didn't want to be there alone (I understand that!), so Bryttan and Taiger went with him while I was in my singing lesson. After my lesson, I knew no one would be home so I ran to the store. What a fiasco! There is a FUNNY story about that, but I won't share it now. I bought things to cook dinner tonight! Then, I raced home and CLEANED like mad to have the house nice before everyone got home. It was so nice to have some time with an empty house! I got the living room and kitchen CLEAN, floors swept and mopped (gotta love hardwood floors! SO NICE to keep CLEAN!) and started dinner. When everyone else arrived home, Bryttan helped me finish getting dinner ready. Then, we actually had a SIT-DOWN DINNER! YES! I am TOTALLY serious! Bryttan set the table and the four of us ate like a "real" family! It was great! Everyone LOVED the dinner I cooked, too! We had salad, carrots, grapes (for Taiger), fried Polska Kielbaska (is that even how you spell it?!) (also for Taiger...he LOVES that stuff!) French bread and tomato pasta (a family fave!) Much to every one's chagrin, I took some pictures with my Mom's cell phone. Although they are completely uninteresting, I will be posting them with this entry.
It will look like THIS!:
Okay, so that blog entry was anything BUT the "brief" I said I would try and be. There are some other topics about which I want to write, but this is LONG ENOUGH! HA!
Thanks to everyone who reads my blog!
Monday, January 19, 2009
Stephanie must be in Ghana now, and I am sure has been for many, many hours. I wonder how it is? I wonder if she loves it there? I wonder if she even has noticed she is in Ghana, or if all she notices is that she is with Samuel and Godfrid! HA HA! I bet she is just loving on them SOOOOO MUCH!!!!!!! I wonder if she has internet, and how soon it will be before anyone hears from her! I am so longing to hear all about it, to see pictures, hear stories, to see her with her boys...okay, okay...the truth is, I will be THE LAST person to hear ANYTHING, and even then it will only be if she is well and maybe one other tid-bit. I am not a close friend, I am not family...I am not even an "adopting Mom", but I still thirst to hear everything.
Taiger and I are getting so anxious to leave for Ghana!!!!!!!!!!!! I think about it ALL the time! It feels like when I was preparing to go to China...how I couldn't get it off my mind! Now that we have decided to go, I just want to GO! To be there NOW! I can't wait another day!
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Before we arrived at the lunch, Taiger was SO EXCITED to meet Adjoa (I didn't know others would be bringing their children or I am sure he would have been excited about meeting them, as well). It took us longer than we thought it would to get to Orem, and when we pulled up to the restaurant, Adjoa and her parents were outside getting in their car. I thought they were leaving and so did Taiger! He rolled down his window and shouted through the parking lot, "Wait, Adjoa! Don't leave yet! Wait for me, Adjoa!!!!!!" It was so cute! In the end, they were just going to a different restaurant and we met up with everyone there.
Taiger never did play with Adjoa or the other girls. About the time everyone was leaving, Taiger warmed up to the idea of all the other people being around. By the time we were on the way home, Taiger was ready to play. Once on the freeway, Taiger started crying he wanted to, "go back to the restaurant and play with Adjoa!" Poor little guy!! He begged me to turn around, but even if I had, Adjoa was gone by then. I hope next time we all meet up we can maybe meet at a park, or even a fast-food place with a play land, or something, so the kids can really run around and play! That would be fun!
So, Stephanie left for Ghana at midnight last night! I am SO EXCITED for her!
I listened a lot yesterday at the lunch. I wanted to hear what everyone had to say, more than I wanted to talk. As the conversation wound and turned, people would bring up a child they have in mind to adopt, dropping names of children in whom they were interested. Each time someone mentioned being interested in a child, my heart would start to pound and I would silently beg, "Please don't say Mathilda! Please don't say Mathilda!" Relief would wash over me when they would say another child's name. I found myself longing to ask about her. To find out if she was "called for" by another family. I wanted to hear if someone had met her, had played with her, knew her personality. But I didn't say anything. I don't have a home study done. I am not rich. I didn't feel it was my place to wish for a child. However, I think of this girl every day. All I can do is hope and pray I get to be with this little girl while we are in Ghana, that I will be able to hold her and play with her and kiss her round cheeks, to see Taiger playing with her. I will post a picture of her here. It is the only picture of her I have ever seen. I have never heard her voice, or touched her, and yet, I love her. Then again, this happens with me sometimes. One child in a million will stand out to me, and I know that child should be mine. There have been three girls (including Mathilda) and three boys (all three brothers) in my life I have found and KNOWN they could be my kids. I think of these children often, I even pray for them sometimes. I wonder if they have been adopted, if they are happy and well...Mathilda I know is a child I will always think of and love.
I just can't wait to go to Ghana! I am so excited! I was able to glean a little information at the lunch yesterday. I got a better feel of what it will be like for Taiger and me. Now, I can't wait to go! I learned we don't have to bring a bed, there will be one in the guest house. I also found out that there is a fan in the room, and running water at the guest house! At the orphanage, there is a toilet, although I am still not sure if there is one at the guest house. I wish I knew a little more about the guesthouse, but I suppose I have enough time to find more out. Maybe I can get Stephanie to go over and scout it out for me, or even take some pictures! I would love to show them to Taiger so I can prepare him for it a little, although I guess it isn't a big deal either way.
It sounds like finding food in Ghana will not be a big problem, as there are places nearby to eat. I am still not SURE on clean water, but it sounded like it is easy to find. Still not sure on other things, but, like I said, there is time for that later. This process is teaching me to be PATIENT! LOL! I can't wait to learn more...I will post information as it becomes available to me! Maybe once Stephanie is in Ghana she will post pictures and things and I will know more.
Mom is leaving for her conference early in the morning, so I need to go help her get ready! She is letting us pick out her clothes! FUN!
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Okay, so before I post my pictures and end this, I HAVE to mention some exciting things! So, there are some sweet little families adopting from Luckyhill whose blogs I follow avidly! All of these adopting families belong to a certain group on yahoo! and post on there, too, as they prepare for their children. I feel like I am reading a great book as I read about these people and their adventures as they go through this wonderful adoption journey. Anyway, there is one woman who is just so sweet and so cute! She and her husband have SO MUCH LOVE in their home. They are positive and down to earth and so kind to everyone. They have been waiting to adopt this adorable little munchkin from Luckyhill named Adjoa. Well, FINALLY, little Adjoa is home! I am so happy and excited for she and her husband and Adjoa!
Exciting thing number 2: Stephanie is this wonderful soon-to-be-Mom, also part of the yahoo! group. She and her husband are adopting two little boys from Luckyhill. They are such an amazing family and so spiritual! I have been amazed as I have read their blog, watching as they have put ALL of their faith in God that they will be able to soon bring home their little boys. They are always so happy and they are going to be such wonderful, loving parents!!!!! Well, Stephanie and her husband decided that she needed to just go to Ghana and be with their boys! They don't know how soon they will be able to bring their little guys home, so she could be there for a while. She just knows she needs to be with her sons. (I understand that feeling!!!!!!! Sometimes, I just want to be with Taiger so badly!) Anyway, so she is leaving in the next few days to stay in Ghana until time to bring home her children! I am so excited for her to get to just be with her babies!
Exciting thing number 3: Some time back, I met a wonderful young man named Brad. He came into my work, and after a while I started talking to him about my orphanage I am going to open in China. Come to find out, Brad works with people helping them start NGO's, etc. This week, he called me and said he thinks we need to start NOW on getting my paperwork done and everything for Sixteen Small Stones. I am SOOOO EXCITED! Brad is in the middle of planning his wedding, changing jobs, doing a MILLION things, and yet he wants to take time to help ME open my orphanage. He is amazing, and I am so thankful to him! Anyway, so he said we need to write grant proposals for all these people at the Federal and State level, write some 15 page "thing" (I don't know what everything is!) and do a lot of other things! Something he said I MAY need (GET) to do is open an orphanage HERE first, become established, THEN try moving in to China. I don't know for sure if that is necessary, but I would LOVE to open an orphanage here! WOW! Anyway, only time will tell for sure what I will need to do. The point is, I am one step closer to opening my orphanage! VERY EXCITING!
Thank you for reading my blog, by the way!
Monday, January 12, 2009
It was so nice not having to go to work!! Every day we were there, Taiger told me, "I love you, Mommy! I am happy!" It made me SO, SO, SO, SO, SO happy to hear him say that! Maybe it is just because I always feel so guilty about working, but I do think that he felt so happy because I didn't have to go to work and just got to stay home with him all day every day. It was wonderful for me, too!!!!!! I miss him when I am gone all day. It was so exceptional to get to stay home with him!!
Taiger's cousins were there visiting, too; three boys and two little girls. What a houseful!! The kids all had SO MUCH FUN running around and playing! Taiger had a TON of fun with so many little boys to play with! He loved playing with Morganne, too, the little girl cousin only about six months younger than Taiger. Despite the fact that they are nearly the same age, Taiger calls her, "BABY Morganne", like that is just her name. Taiger also just adored Madisanne, the baby. He wanted to hug her and hold her and kiss and hug her. He wanted me to sing to her and when she cried he was the first to comfort her.
For Christmas, my parents upgraded my phone! YIPPEE! I have needed to upgrade for a while, I just haven't gotten around to doing it. My new phone is GREAT! It even takes VIDEO!!!!! AMAZING! (Am I behind? I'd say!!) It was so fun to take pictures and videos of all the kids playing together. I will upload some pictures and videos here for your enjoyment! HA HA! I will only put my very most favourite pictures...you all know me well enough to know I took HUNDREDS of pictures! :D
I bought Taiger a hobby horse for Christmas, and he LOVED IT!!!!!!!! In fact, all the kids did! You can see it in one or two of the pictures on here.
Well, I tried to upload some pictures, but the picture button isn't clicking...try again later, I suppose!
I surely hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year!