Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Catching up.....(CAC discount going on)

 Ok well since my world has been turned upside down the last couple of weeks with being in the hospital with Michael as well as being gone to Train the Trainer class in Dallas for teaching Empowered To Connect class.....I didn't post about our fun outing! 

We went to the movies with our kiddos!!!  ALL 9 KIDS less than $50 can't beat that!  We got to see both Despicable Me 2 AND Monsters University :). 
 We didn't tell the kids anything except- you will want to take a nap because tonight will be late, but very very fun!  They all did.....except you know the 2 babes.  What is up with that?  But they all did well and we had a blast!  There were some sprinkles happening, and we spent some quality cram in the back of the suburban together.  (We took both vehicles).  Hey nothing like family closeness right? 
 Crazy fun with a million beads from the 4th of July parade....wow- I am sooo behind on things.  Yikes! 
 Ummm.......not sure what Jason is doing, but does it seem strange that this is normal?? 
 Classic case of the kids grabbing the camera- my diva girls :). 
 Ok Joanna loves water- as in I have never seen a child love drinking water like she does.  She is pretty cute though.....
 I had to put this on here as proof- proof of what you may ask?  Proof that I have actually used some recipes from Pinterest!  This was some caramelized yumminess- with saltine crackers and chocolate chips on top- Don't remember the recipe now because my brain has been on over drive for too long, but it's on our cooking board. 
 This was Michael after we came back from the first hospital we went to (don't get me started!).  Pretty angelic picture, but I hate the fact that he must have been in sooo much pain at this time!!  :(  Keep praying because he is still not himself.  Therapy didn't go very well today, and he woke up in the night a few times, and poor sweetie has lost quite a bit of weight as well - probaby5-6 lbs!  :(  So it will be a while to get back to normal. 
 So daddy has decided it is fun to open up his own Cold Stone shop in our home ;).  He gets out the goodies......
 and does mixins :).  YEA!!!!!  Needless to say the kids all think this is the best idea ever!!!! 
Don't know if you can see either one, but we gave him some marshmallows to play with.....they got moist and stuck to his finger.  I don't think he was happy with this. 

So I have a LOT of things I want to blog about, but I am trying to sort them all out in my head ;).  Hopefully I can get back in my groove.....Hey, crazy roller coaster rides is something you would think we are just used to. 
***Have questions about domestic adoption? 
Want to get started, but don't know where to start?
Want to know that someone can help you get there?
Christian Adoption Consultants CAN HELP!!!!
AND we are offering a 10% discount on all full service packages right now! 
20% for those open to minority adoption!!! 
Call- 813-360-7368

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Train the Trainer for Empowered To Connect Parenting Class

Hello there- Jason and I by ourselves?  Why yes we are......this was a picture from Wednesday morning as we boarded a plane to head to Dallas, Texas.  Headed to complete our class that we had been doing reading for, watching videos for, and handing in assignments for....... Empowered To Connect's Train the Trainer. 

Let's rewind a minute and go back to February- that was when we went to Empowered To Connect's Conference in Orlando.  I had owned the book written by Karyn Purvis called The Connected Child.  I had read it, looked it over, thought....hmmmm.......interesting, but just didn't really connect with me (Yep, that is my desperate grasp at a pun folks sorry that is as good as it gets here).  I will write more on my parenting journey and tell you more on how this has really impacted our world, but right now just know this has totally changed so much in our lives. 

While at the conference we really felt wow this is great!  However as a dear friend pointed out that attended with us it is like trying to take a drink from a fire hose.  Loads of information, lots of concepts we hadn't thought of, and my brain did not catch most of it.  So when we saw they had a class for parents to take to come back to their communities and teach the class locally we decided that was for us! 

So we signed up......waited to be "accepted" into the class.  Then for the last several weeks we have been doing homework!  Lots of it :) including "date nights" with Karyn Purvis kind of became or joke.  Yes that meant that last week was crazy because while we were in the hospital with Michael we were both working on homework too.     
 Well, we had to fly in the day before and the cheaper flights were a little earlier...so we landed in the after noon and went out to eat at a place called Hard Eight Barbeque- OH MY GOODNESS!!!!!  People the food was AMAZING!!!  :)  See that huge chop?  I have not seen a chop that thick since I lived in Iowa (Reference point I grew up in Iowa and didn't move from the state until I was 30).  We also had yummy ribs, huge onion rings, and you know some fruit salad- just to feel a tiny healthy too. 
 As you can see the pork chop seriously looked like this- definitely 2 1/2 inches thick!!!
 I am thinking when it comes to caring for others- the needy, poor, hungry, thirsty, widow, or orphan- this should be our philosophy!!!!  No one retires from Biblical mandate :)  I would love this sign in my home, and in every church too!!!!!
 Here are the smokers for all the wonderful meat! 
 This was how they served up the meat- loads of sausage, pork chop, ribs, chicken, and much more- YUMMY!!!!!!
 WELCOME!!  This is the room we have spent the last few days sitting in!!  Of course we decided to shake things up and change seats every day we were there.  Hey, it's fun to mess with people and meet new people ;).  Yep, we are those people......
 Jason couldn't wait to model the bag we got when we were there.........can't you tell?
 This is our thick teaching binder!!!  Don't worry, for those of you who dare take the class with us or all the others doing the trainings all over the U.S. you will get this huge stack of papers too ;).  It really is set up wonderfully though, and comes in bite size pieces.  Which really helped m visualize how we would teach the class.  Yes, I am a visual learner. 
 These were the refrigerator magnets they gave us to help give us those "cues" and remember what we learned while we were there.  If you have read the Connected Child book- you will remember these too. 
A big part of the class is about role playing and having fun.  Perfect then- we got to see and play with puppets!  So Jason had some fun with this.......have I mentioned the power of play?  Really important as well!! 

Right now, my brain is fried, and full.......well fed over the last few days as well.....tired......and definitely CAN NOT WAIT TO GET BACK TO OUR KIDDOS!!!!!!!!!!! 

CALL 813-360-7368
Why use Christian Adoption Consultants? 
1)  We walk you through the entire adoption process!  You get US to help you look into situations, figure out what the best fit for your family is, and help you navigate the process which can seem intimidating.
2)  We provide full packages which includes a full list of grants and scholarships, information on terminology in the adoption world, lots of tips and helps when it comes to talking with your agency as well as talking with birth families, and a list of state adoption laws.
3)  We can provide a professional profile for your family.  This is the first impression the birth families see and therefore it is so very important. 
**We do have families that create their own profile as well- your choice.
4)  We work with families in almost all 50 states (sorry not NY). 
5)  Christian Adoption Consultants has been around since 2005!  Since then we have helped over 500 families on their adoption journey!
6)  Because we network with several agencies and lawyers that are trusted and accredited you don't have a long wait time.  Our clients are usually matched in less than a year, and there are many that literally wait only weeks or a few months.
7)  We have other programs as well as our infant adoption program- want to do an older child (age 3+) adoption, sibling group adoption, or a child with a special diagnosis?  This program has a 50% discount year round due to a high need.  Ask me all about this special program.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Chrsitian Adoption Consultants Discount AND updates on Michael

 So first off Christian Adoption Consultants has a BRAND NEW WEBSITE!!!!!!  YEA!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
So GO CHECK IT OUT :)!!!  In CELEBRATION of this we are offering a DISCOUNT!! 
So if you have been thinking I really would love to know more, or have been wanting to sign on with Christian Adoption Consultants- NOW IS THE TIME!!!!!!  :) 
10% off all full service packages as well as 20% off for families open to minority children!!!
Want to know more email me - wrights@chrsitianadoptionconsultants.com
Call Me- 813-360-7368
Want to see our form?  CLICK HERE This is our introduction to Christian Adoption Consultants as well as the client agreement. 

Why sign on with a consultant?  HERE is a great blog post :) 

 OK so now for the other update!!  Michael is HOME!!!!  Can I get an AMEN? 
 Poor baby has bruises everywhere from so many pokes and prods, but he is doing well!!!  YEA!!! 
 **This is a sad Michael before he got to feeling better :(.  BUT PRAISE GOD he is doing well now and his liver function went back to normal and they didn't find any reason for his urinary tract infection.  He is now back on his HIV meds and has been happy since they finally le us out of there! 
 Which didn't happen until Monday when they saw his liver was functioning soooo much better and his infection was under control! 
 So we got home Monday afternoon.......had all day Tuesday......
 In all reality we packed Tuesday and got ready.....
 Because Wednesday morning bright and early we left for Dallas, TX!!!!
 To take the Empowered To Connect - Train the Trainer for the parenting class!!!  YEA!!!  For the class.....not so much for having to leave my babies again.  For any who don't know......we don't usually leave our kids (unless it is to go pick up another babe ;).
 YES I am proud my baby is walking around playing with a barf bag - but at least she is cute!!!
Today was our first day of our training for the Empowered To Connect Parenting Class.  We will be teaching this locally soon!!  WAHOOOO!!!!

And this is when I knew for sure Michael was totally feeling much better- he pulled himself up in the crib!!!  :) 

So I am missing all of my babes......and learning a lot......and at least I get to spend time with my hubby.........

THANK YOU ALL FOR ALL OF YOUR PRAYERS for Michael and our family!!!!!!!!!!!!  They mean the world to us!!!!  It has been a hard couple of weeks :(.  Even since we have been away the toilet has backed up and our van battery died.....perfect right?  Gotta love our crazy life.  Soooo Thankful for a special young lady Lisa Weick (former summer camp staff) who is looking after all our kiddos!!!  She has already managed to take them all out on trips to the park, McDonald's, etc.  SHE IS AMAZING!!!!!!  Oh and she showed up last week- and said I came early so I could help while Michael is in the hospital- THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Lots of prayer and 16 YEARS!!!!

OK sorry.....was trying to upload some pics of our latest adventure, but I am having issues.

The blog has been quiet because I am here at the hospital with Michael.  He spiked a 105 fever on Sunday an we took him to our local hospital.  He was not able to keep anything down.  After a frustrating day we returned home.  Then after consulting with our Pediatric Infectious Disease Doctor (because he was not keeping any of his HIV meds down which isn't a good thing),  we were sent to Tampa General Hospital on Monday. 

Since then he has with medication had a 102 fever :(  Today is the first day he has gone without fever and the first day he actually has kept some food and milk down!!

However, we are far from clear to go home.  They determined that he has a urinary tract infection that spread into his kidneys.  A 3 year old should no have a UTI (I have had them, and they are horrible, but evidently my body is older or something ;),,,  so they have to figure out why he got it.  The cause is usually there is some body part not working- valve wise in his system.  He had to be fever free for 24 hours to do the test they need to do.  So hopefully tomorrow we will get that test done.

So what else have we done.....tons of blood draws, urine tests, and al that fun stuff :(.  Oh and yesterday we did a ultrasound of his kidneys and spleen, and found out today that his spleen is enlarged.....and last night he started having a yellow tint.  So today it was more than obvious that his liver function is not happening. 

Sooo......that is it in a nutshell.....we have more testing to do, more praying, and we are in a great hospital!! 

All prayers appreciated!!!!!!! 

Sooo.....in 10 minutes it is officially our 16th wedding anniversary.  What do you say on a day that my hubby had planned some really special surprises.......and now we won't even really get to see each other?  You say- Praise God that our other 8 children are healthy and have had some fun this last week at a local church's VBS.  You say, we are thankful for a good hospital and great healthcare!!!  You say thank you to so many who have brought me food here at the hospital, and have come to pray with us and over Michael!!!!  Friends and Family that have really surrounded us in prayer has been amazing!!!!!!!!!!  You say thank you for the meal for my hubby and 8 kiddos who I miss daily!!!  You say Praise God because HE CREATED MICHAEL and knows exactly how to heal him!!!!!

I praise God for my sweet husband!!
1)  He is so stinking handsome!!
2)  He loves to play with our kids!
3)  He has an amazing voice and we love praising God together!
4)  He is very romantic!
5)  He is calm when I am not!
6)  He and I both love HGTV and The Duggars!
7)  He is crazy enough with me to adopt 9 gorgeous sweeties!
8)  He joins me on the journey to helping our children heal!
9)  He leads our family in devotions and worship!
10)  He has that awesome British Accent!
11)  He does well with going with the flow!
12)  He enjoys spending time with me!
13)  He loves to hike, be outdoors, and swim!
14)  He loves to cook- have I mentioned he actually went to school to do catering??, do laundry- what more could you possible want?
15)  He is and inspiration to me!
16)  He is a spiritual leader in our home- which for me is such a huge Blessing from God!!

Jason, I know this day won't be what you had planned.  We have to remember that God holds all of our days in His hands.  I do know for a fact that we will celebrate- when we know our baby boy is once again well! 

I know for sure that 16 years later baby and there is NO ONE I would rather with than you!  I praise God that He gave me YOU!!!  :)  Loads of love and here is to the next 50 years+!!!!!!  :) 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Happy Birthday Jason & our 4th of July

 Happy38th Birthday Jason!!!   
 He had a pineapple angel food cake (I found on Pinterest)  :)  Easy peezy anyone can do it.  You take an angel food cake mix, 20oz can of crushed pineapple- mix together!  It will froth and foam and become light.  Put it in a regular cake pan and put in the over at 350 for 30 minutes.  See - told you it was easy :).  It was yummy! 
 Here is our 4th of July!  We have gone to the parade the last few years here in Brandon, FL.  It is a pretty good parade.  We set up our tent- because it is always stifling hot!  ;).  Enjoy our parade with some cool. 
 We are some cool kiddos :). 
 This year we invited the Murphy family to come hang out.  David Murphy is the pastor for our Spanish service at our church.  Yet, he is from Northern Ireland.  Confused?  Yep- well he grew up part of his time in the Canary Islands- his family were missionaries. 

That would explain why my husband and he are enjoying a cup of hot English tea at the 4th of July parade. 
 My family are here too!!!!!  LOVE!!!!!  :)  So going down the line- this is Mark & Heidi (my cousin), their daughter Makenna, and Jane (my aunt), and that little one on the end is their other daughter Jessa.  We LOVE living close to them :)!!! 
 All the time is bottle time ;). 
 Michael liked the parade! 
 Of course we bring tons of snacks, water, and of course buckets for the candy as well! 
 These two posed for me ;)
 Yep, that is a hole you see.....Jonathan has lost 2 bottom teeth! 
 Watching the parade........
 Awwww......cute little flag waver!!! 
Modeling some of the 1 million beads we got at the parade!!  Hey, they make for a GREAT sensory toy!!  Michael LOVES beads and will play with them for long periods of time.  Just stick them in a bucket, and our kids use them for all kinds of things. 

So sometimes life just flashes by, but we are taking it all in!  Summer has brought LOTS of swimming time, middle of the day movies, and random fun activities!  Lately that has meant Abigail going off to hang out with Joe and Lisa Weick this week to help them with their church's VBS.  They live a few hours north of us.  From what I hear she is having an awesome time!  BUT this momma misses her a lot!!  Can you tell I may not do well when my children start leaving the nest???  UGH!!!

Will be posting about some more fun activities soon! 

Oh and we are soo excited for some of our clients who are being matched!!!!  Soooo exciting!!!!  We are so privileged to walk with families on their adoption journeys!!!!!  It is a privilege and an honor.  The sweet part is that the family that just matched is local and I did their homestudy, which also means I get to do the post adoption visits!!  YEA!!!  Definite bonus :).  Have I mentioned how much we love helping families through the adoption process?  It is such a joy!  

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Playing = Healing and Meeting Old and New Friends!!!

 Well Hello!!!  This is an old friend and a new friend!  Amy Levy and I have supported each other for a loooonnnngggg time!!!!  Her friend decided to go on vacation with everyone and bring them to Florida!!!!  AND we decided that getting together with 3 mommas and 17 kiddos sounded like fun :)
 Look at all of those wonderful faces!!!!!!  TOO MUCH CUTE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
 Michael was a bit on the warm side.  BUT he did manage to amaze us all!!!  So if you haven't heard- he pulled off his shoe!  His shoe has velcro straps- and he managed to undo them, keep them separated while he got it off!  I was pretty blown away.

As if that wasn't enough - he decided to pull himself out of the stroller on his own- used the end of the picnic table and just stand up like it was no big deal!!!!!!!!!!!!  WOW OH WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I then helped him use the foot rest on his stroller to sit back down when he got tired.  He went back and forth as if he had been doing it on his own for years!  OH MY HEART!!!!  Then our pastor talked about Jesus healing the crippled man in church....and I about lost it.  My little man God is working big things in your life- just glad I get to be here to witness it!!!  :) 
 So here is part of our Empowered To Connect - Train the Trainer course learning.  PLAY TIME!!!!
 What?  YES PLAY TIME!!!!!  Now I know that some people think that things should be all about learning, and learning is important, but the "power of play" is actually one of the best "vehicles" to healing.  So let's get PLAYING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 So here is something to help you get started!  There are many different types of play.  You mean you haven't ever thought of it before?  Yea, me either.  But there are! 
 I am just going to list a few....to get you thinking about what type of play you like best?

The director (you enjoy organizing the play as a part of your play).  My older brother was this way.  He loved making sure everyone got to play basketball.  That the teams were equal.  Then he would play, but always supported everyone. 

The storyteller.  The one who loves to narrate it all.  The one who can help you enter into imagination station land!  Great people to entertain you!  I love doing this sometimes.  Hey, it comes in handy at camp while giving messages to the campers!  ;)

The competitor- the one that wants to compete!  They love any competition- any sport any where any time.  :)
 The joker - you know the one that always is playing jokes or telling jokes about something :).  That would be at least one of our kiddos! 

The kinesthetic- this person loves to move!!  They may love competitions, but not so much to win as just to move.  Dancers, swimmers, runners, hikers, bikers.....they just like to move around. 

The explorer- likes to try new things!  Take me to a park I haven't been to before, let's go hiking to find new trees, let's bake something from Pinterest, let's try a new place to eat.  Anything new is their flavor because they love to seek something different. 
 The collector- they love collecting things- start wars things, coca- cola things, lego sets, all super hero memorabilia, or go to every theme park in the world, or going to every zoo in the state, they like to collect memories of things they like or actual things. 

The artist/creator- they love to invent!  Crafts are not just a thing to them- it is an invention, a new creation and they take them seriously.  They keep them, and like to recreate all the time.  Drawing, painting, sculpting, building models- you name the art they love it!  Music is also a huge play tool for them. 
 So what is our Play personality?  What is our children's play personality?  How can you CONNECT THROUGH PLAY???? 

You are scared you say?  Because well after all you are an adult of a fortune 500 company and playing with your child....seems......childish?  OK so take it easy- breathe....it will  be ok- promise! 
 Challenge yourself!  Take a timer- talk to your cutie and say ok.  I have 10 minutes and we can do whatever YOU want to do in that time.  (start small then work your way up).  Maybe they will ask you to cuddle with them - that is a BONUS!!!  Maybe they will bring out the legos- they get lost in that with them!  Maybe they will bring out the craft stuff.  Maybe they will play a song they really love and want you to dance- then dance! 
 Let your child lead!  Come on- it will be fun, and as they say on Veggie Tales- it's for the kids!!!!

So LET GO!  Remember how it was to play as a child?  Oh dear.....you don't??  OK so that in and of itself can actually be a problem.  According to new studies- WE ALL NEED TO PLAY!!!!!!!  AS IN EVERYONE NEEDS TO PLAY!!!!!  IN FACT big corporates are saying that the reason their staff don't do well at thinking outside the box is because they can NO LONGER PLAY :(.  How very sad!
 No really this is sad!!!  I mean look at these boys they have known each other all of a few minutes and they are pretending with each other- I am taking the "bad guy" to "jail".  People- ENJOY PLAY!!!!!! 

If you have hurting kiddos or not- PLAY WILL HELP YOU TO CONNECT WITH THEM!!!!!

I am pretty sure that Jesus had some amazing play time!  I mean just look at his disciples and his relationship.  Come on- walking on water again Jesus?  Well Peter - come play with me ;).  Or hey everyone we are going to feed everyone again- Jesus you are always yanking our chains....we don't have any food.  Here He goes again guys.  Come on children scatter- Jesus....wait.....Jesus wanted to play with the children?  Talk to those no one else at the playground would talk to?  WHAT?  YES HE DID!!!  HIS whole life was about Play- because when it comes down to it  play is about showing Love! 
 Yep, when our kiddos play together, when we play with them, when we interact with others in a playful manner- WE SHOW LOVE!  We say come one let's imagine, let's share stories, let's compete, let's hike, let's organize a committee, let's ....... TOGETHER!  :) 
So - want to help your child heal?  Want to connect with your child?  Get to it!  GO PLAY!