Friday, April 22, 2011

Another adventure brought to you by Girl Scouts....

This week is spring break around here so most of the kids are out of school. One of the moms of a girl in our scout troop arranged for the girls to go to visit the nursing home where she works, today. Field trip for us, since we are wrapping our last week of school. So we piled up six girls from our troop and headed out early this morning. We had planned to work in their garden, planting flowers but the weather had turned cold and rainy so that was nixed. But one of the activity workers went to the store and got plastic cups, dirt and flower seeds that the residents could plant and put on the window sills. Faith came in holding hands with her partner in crime and best buddy and stole the show. She hugged the neck of every person who crossed her path and was instantly drawn to a sixty year old man named Alvin, who had cerebral palsy! She charmed her way through all the little old ladies and even suckered one out of a pocketful of peppermints! Interestingly enough, the mints were an old brand of mints that my grandmother was notorious for carrying in her own pocket, and I had been looking for about eight years but had been unable to get my hands on! We called them "I love you" mints because they had it inscribed on the wrapper. I was so excited! Faith got to take her turn helping several women fill their little cups with dirt and seeds. She really enjoyed digging in the dirt! Then she sat down with the girls, on the floor and listened to one lady tell about her days as a girl scout in the fourties. Of course, Faith had to show off her sign language skills to the crowd and impress them all. One lady gave her a little paper crown to wear and about three ladies in wheelchairs offered to hold her in their laps! When we got ready to leave we found out that one lady was celebrating her 100th birthday, today, so we had to go sing her happy birthday! On, our way out of town we stopped at McD's for some lunch for the kids. They all decided that they needed ice cream even though it was like 50 degrees outside! One of the moms offered to buy Faith an ice cream but I turned her down because I knew it would be a big mess, but our troop leader got her one anyway....in a cone! I shouldn't have denied her because it was the funniest thing ever! She got into that cone and had the time of her life! She stuck her whole face right into the ice cream! It was in her nose and on her cheeks and chin. She kept sticking her front teeth into it and making that terrible face that you make with an ice cream headache but then she would laugh and do it again. We must have used a tree worth of napkins and wipes. She had so much fun and even though it was a mess to clean up, I had a blast watching her and so did everyone else.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Dogs.....

We are finally wrapping up our first year of homeschooling this month, down to our last two weeks. One of my goals for Faith was for her to be able to recognize the letters A,B and C by the end of the year. We are now working well into letter D, right now! So check that off as a goal surpassed! Our current theme is Dogs. When I start a new letter I always try to begin with a familiar object and of course, Faith loves dogs. So this morning she wakes up and wants me to let our birdbrained dog, Gandy, up on the bed...so I oblige. She starts pointing to different parts of his body like his foot, ear, head, back and I say them out loud....she knows all these parts already. Then she starts pointing to those same parts on her own body....dog eye...Faith's eye.....dog hair...Faith's hair! She was showing me that she made that connection all by herself! I did not instigate it or even try to get her to work on dog body parts! We were just lying on the bed! I am amazed every day at the ways she manages to get her point across! It gives me so much hope and encouragement that I am doing the right thing. That WE are doing the right thing. Father, thank you for each little milestone that you give Faith, I pray that we will use it to glorify you!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Progress is progress....

For years I have heard therapists, parents and professionals declare the rapid development of children with special needs once they start walking. I heard it but I was less than convinced since I had never seen it with my own two eyes. But over the last few months....yes can you believe it's been almost two months since she took off?....I have witnessed remarkable progress! Faith is changing right before my own eyes, almost overnight! She is trying to talk more, feeding herself (albeit minute amounts), picking up things right and left in the education dept like colors,numbers and letters. Everyday I am astonished at the new things she has discovered! Today we worked on self feeding with some really thick grits (yes friends...we are southern girls....although kinda late in life!) she was scooping that stuff up with the spoon and getting it right to her mouth! Then she discovered that the plate had a ladybug on it that was partially covered up with the grits so she started pushing the food around with her hand to uncover the ladybug! It was soooo cool to see her GET it! Then in the bathtub, today, she was playing with a cup and I saw her trying to rinse her own hair with water! It was crazy! I asked her if she was washing her hair and she said YEAH, just like that! She was even scrubbing her head with her hand! I couldn't believe it! I am so proud of her, I wish there were words enough to describe my joy! I guess there is something to all that developmental milestone stuff they told me about......He he he.

Monday, April 11, 2011

How to be happy when you are fighting a battle alone....

Loneliness...
Something I struggle with daily, now. There is no one to share all the things that happen in Faith's life that can only be shared between her parents and understood. I can tell people about those things but no one really understands. My soul aches to be able to share all her accomplishments but it just isn't possible anymore. At night, when Faith goes to bed, that's the hardest time. I try to keep busy but it's hard. I keep trying to understand things, but I don't think there is any sense to make out of this mess.
But during the days, when Faith and I are together, that is the time when I am happy. We fill our days with lots of work but a tremendous amount of quality time together and THAT is what gets me through. Sometimes we sit on the swing and blow bubbles or take a trip to the dollar store to push the shopping cart around. Some days we will read the same book ten times and other days we will wander around the petsmart to explore all the animals. Filling our lives with good memories and simple pleasures like a walk down the dirt road is how I have been able to survive. Like today, a two dollar goldfish named Spot and a bowl....seeing her explore this new part of her world...helping to make up his bowl....sitting at the counter and watching the fish swim while we talked about it....that's a good day. Seeing her GET the color Red...as in Clifford, the big red dog, while she was working on coloring her own paper...making that connection....that's a good day for me! That is when I feel filled up and fulfilled...when I can see her developing and grasping concepts that people take for granted and said she never would get. I know that God uses these moments to teach me to be grateful and hopeful and to encourage me in the midst of overwhelming grief.
One of my favorite verses when I was pregnant with Faith keeps me going even now...
"Every good and perfect gift is from Above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights, who does not change like the shifting shadows." James 1:17
And now also...
"In Him we were also chosen, having been PREDESTINED according to the plan of Him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will...". Ephesians 1:11

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Library day...

Every week we go up to the library at least once. In our town, everything is all in one place. The town hall, police station, water dept and library are all in one little building. The library is one of Faith's favorite places on Earth. When we start heading down the street past the fire dept. she starts laughing and screaming and pointing towards the building! When we get there she makes her grand entrance, calling out to all her friends who work there. Our librarians know it's her before she even rounds the corner and they always are there to greet her with hugs and handshakes. Today, we went in to print out some dog work pages for school. She sat in one of the wing chairs and played with her iPad until she wore out the battery then she was off to investigate. Her usual routine involves sneaking around the front desk to see the librarians and be nosey. Mrs. Diane always has some stickers for her and Mr. Tony is always busy putting away books, a perfect opportunity to play hide and seek by following him up and down the aisles, all three of them! When we get done she has to go over to the town hall side and see all her friends ther, most of whom have kids in Faith's girl scout troop. They come out and hug her and fawn over her and make her feel special. She hugs everyone and loves to pat the mayor's little dog, when he is there. It has become one of my favorite parts of our week too, seeing how people have not only welcomed Faith but drawn her into the community. She is almost a superstar, people who I don't even know by name, all know her and speak to her and say what a miracle she is. Sometimes after someone stops to talk to her, I am left wondering who that was, who knows my daughter so well! It holds a very special place in both our hearts.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Good times are STILL available...

Today was a beautiful day...warm, sunny with a little breeze. We went to church at the new church...Blue Grass Sunday..yes! After church, I decided to spoil myself with a treat that I never had...a manicure and pedicure! I got a sassy coral color but I have come to the conclusion that....believe it or not....I have a very hard time relaxing! Surely not! When we got back home Faith and I went out in the yard and laid in the hammock for like a whole hour! Just doing nothing! I took my phone and sunglasses and we just laid there and Faith played with my glasses and pretended to call Grandma on the phone. I looked up at the beautiful trees and listened to the wind...trying to keep my head above the sadness and loneliness. Then my dad came over for a while...we sat outside and told stories about when I was a kid or he was a kid or funny stories about my grandmother. I started laughing about this funny story involving me and my grandmother and could not stop! It felt so good to laugh and have some good memories for a change. Faith sat between us in the swing and listened and would laugh like she knew exactly what we were talking about..sometimes slapping her knees like it was the funniest thing ever! Then we took her walking around the yard and played a game of find grandpa and tickle him. She was trying so hard to run and catch him, chasing him around the van. It was so cute! It felt good for us to be happy......at least for a little while.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Perspectives....

Sometimes life can seem so cruel. Things happen and we can't change, control or fix them. I personally REALLY struggle with this! I am and always have been a take charge, fix it all kinda girl. A natural first born, type A personality. So this reality has been hard to swallow. God has really brought me to my knees during the last 10 months. I have had to learn to accept things I cannot change...and that feels SO wrong. But HE has also given me encouragement through fellow Christians, strangers and of course....my daughter! Just in case no one had heard....she is walking! SHE is walking, through GOD'S grace. But since she started walking, she is developing at an amazing rate! She is processing things quicker and absorbing things like crazy. Tonight, for example, we were sitting together looking at the newspaper and came across a split picture of a girl with curly hair on one side and straight hair on the other. I was pointing out the differences to Faith, curly hair like hers and straight hair like mine. Really my point was to show her the same girl had two different hairstyles. But she picked right up and pointed to my hair then to the picture of the girl with straight hair, then to her hair and then the picture of the curly haired girl! I almost fell off my chair! I couldn't believe that she connected it....so quickly...without me drilling her!
I choose to believe that God gives us signs if we chose to open our hearts to HIM.
Today, I saw God showing me another piece of the puzzle that is Faith. To remind me that His hands are still on me and on Faith. She is unfolding like a rare flower, more and more each day and I see a testimony emerging that will be like no other. Every time I see her GET something that I didn't think she would get....I am reminded of Gods perspective FOR me and Faith. That HE wants to refine us for HIS glory and as a witness to HIS greatness. I need to remember this even on days like today when it feels like the whole world is against me and I just might drown.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Grandpa and Faith...

One of the good things that have happened to us, even in this tradgedy, is a renewed relationship with my dad. For the last 20 years, my dad and I have had a somewhat rocky relationship. Part of that time, we were not in much contact. Then, this aweful thing happened and one day, my dad was on my doorstep.



Ever since, we talk every day and he has been there in ways that he never was in my life, growing up. A big point of contention for me, was that he was always standoff-ish with Faith. I never knew why, but it always irratated me and I held it against him for a long time. But in the last 8 months, I have seen my dad get wrapped around Faith's little finger. She gets so excited when we head over to Grandpa's house and when she gets to his house, she rushes over to his recliner and begs him to put her in it, with a pillow and a blankie and rock her. It is SO stinkin' cute! He has learned a lot about her conditions and helps me out whenever he goes with us.


Evertime she gets out of the car, Faith reaches for Grandpa's hand, it is so sweet. So we took a trip out to Charles town Landing and Grandpa took Faith down into the ship. It was so nice because I have a hard time climbing stairs, especially steep ones and I could never have gotten her down there. Now that Faith is walking, her world is opening up in ways she has never experienced and getting her up close and hands on is wonderful!

It surely warms my heart to see Faith have a relationship with my dad and to see his heart soften to her. He even joked the other day that Faith was a babe magnet!


Monday, March 21, 2011

Take the Shackles off MY feet...

I know I have posted about the song by Mary Mary called "Shackles" and how I always think of Faith when I hear that song. When they sing...."Take the shackles off my feet so I can dance, I just want to praise YOU"...well, it REALLY has meaning now, if it didn't before! I caught this song on my computer and Faith was just dancing her head off! Like she knows what it means and she is gonna dance for GOD! It also reminds me that God can take MY shackles off! Every day, I am inspired by Faith...
(you'll have to pause my music at the bottom of the page.)
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video

Walking requires Faith...

I finally got a short video of Faith walking while I didn't have to hold onto her or keep her from falling. This is our beloved PT, Erin, who will be leaving us in the next week. Very sad to see her go, but we are close outside of therapy, so it will be ok. Forgive the sideways view, I couldn't get it turned.Faith is making so much progress, so quickly. In just the last week she has had dramatic improvements in her balance. Her PT was shocked to see how much better she had gotten since last Monday. And just look at her good posture!

Tonight, we sit in Charleston, down for an epilepsy appointment. I am actually VERY excited to come to this appointment. I can't wait to see her doctor's face when she comes walking into his office! He will be soooo surprised! I have several other things to discuss with him as far as her medicine regimen goes. In the next few weeks, Faith will be one year seizure free, a HUGE deal to say the least. There have been discussions on trying to wean her off her Tegretol, if the Keppra worked well, and clearly it has. I think the combination seems to work well, but Tegretol does affect the liver and if we could get good control and off the Tegretol, that sure would be nice.

Hope you all enjoy seeing my miracle walking, FINALLY!


video

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

More "crazy"happenings....

I tell you now.... One day I am going to write a book about all the miracles and wonders God has let me see and be a part of in my life.
I know I tend to wax poetically a LOT about amazing things that have happened to me and Faith but everywhere we go crazy things happen.
Today started out bad for me, I was depressed and lonely and basically feeling miserable. I cried my way to therapy, all the way there. I decided when I got there that I needed to do something to pull myself out of the quagmire, and my hair REALLY needed a cut. So I decided to try to find a place to get a haircut. Unfortunately, the girl who last cut my hair was not working and my prospects weren't looking too good. Finally, I crossed town and found a little salon that took walk-ins. I stuck my head in the door and asked if they had time for me and a young lady came out and said she sure did, so I went out and got Faith. I was praying for someone who would be able to look at my hair and see something that she could do with it, as I am VERY plain Jane and never know what to do with my hair. I said I needed a new style to go with my new figure and was hoping for something fun and cute. Well, she starts cutting and says she has some good ideas for it. I just prayed she was good and let her have at it. We talked a lot and of course the topic naturally fell to Faith. I told her a little about her and that she just started walking. Turns out this girl had been home schooled herself, and her father was a preacher, too! Eventually, I told her a little about what we had been going through. Well, this girl was just snipping away and listening to me and turns out she was a Christian, too. So she decided that she was going to curl my hair....and before you know it....she had given me this fantastic, super cute, flirty haircut with swirly, wavy ringlets! I was so surprised! She says that she wanted to do something special for me! So I get ready to leave and this girl writes her name and phone number down and tells me that I should call her and if I wanted to come to town and have someone just wash and style my hair she would love to do it for me, whenever! And that she was giving me my haircut as a gift to me! She said that our story had been an inspiration to her and encouraged her in her faith! I cried...of course...and insisted on paying her but she refused and hugged me and told me she loved me and hugged Faith and told me to keep in touch with her!

A perfect stranger, at the perfect time...when I needed it the most...GOD put this girl in my life!

I feel like a new woman....like I need to go put on a fancy dress or something! I NEVER had a fancy haircut before......

Thank you, Father, for Racheal at Salon 81!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Spring is here...finally

Every year, I take Faith out the the botanical gardens and make her pictures in the daffodils...
We are a few days late but the flowers are still pretty for the most part. This year I can tell such a difference in her, a more mature girl. She looks so grown up!

It's bittersweet because this is where I had my bridal portraits made, and it was a tradition to take her out on the week of our anniversary. So, I had a hard time with it but I was determined to make it a day for us to enjoy.












Saturday, March 5, 2011

Proof Positive...

I finally got some half decent pictures of Faith walking, today.
I love how proud she is of herself!
She walked the entire museum today, well over an hour and a half!
I know these are blurry but they are good action shots of her actually doing it!

And of course, I have a wonderful story of yet another perfect stranger who was smitten with Faith, tonight.
Eating dinner at a seafood restaurant with my dad and Faith. A family comes in behind us and sits right near us. After a while I hear the mom talking about Faith (nicely) to her husband and two kids. When we get up to leave the woman gets up from her chair and gets my attention and asks how old Faith is. I say seven and she says "she is just beautiful, can I give her a hug?". So in a matter of minutes we are fast friends with a wonderful woman who was clearly a woman of great faith...as she knelt on her knees in the middle of the restaurant and prayed over my daughter for strength and healing and HIS hand on her and protection over her. Faith fell in love with her...smothering her with drooly kisses and hugs as the woman teared up as she heard a little of Faith's story. She was trying to adopt the two kids with her, who came from an abusive home but she clearly had some experience with people with disabilities b/c she knew some sign language and also asked about Faith having a G tube, even though she never saw it. And the weird thing is, they were from the next town over from where I was born!
She asked for my email address to keep in touch. She was also a survivor of ovarian cancer. Once again, God placed this woman in our path. I love to meet the people who come out of the woodwork when Faith is around. It's uncanny! All I can say is it must be God's handiwork! Proof positive...my daughter walking!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Cerebral palsy awareness month...

Your first pictures of Faith walking..
(Faith and me walking, hand in hand)
Cerebral palsy...
I had heard that term before Faith was born but I never knew what it meant.

Even after she got the dx, it was a long time before I had a firm grip on it...

Just about anyone who reads regularly will know what it means, what comes with that diagnosis and what it means for our kiddos. So I won't waste time with definitions....

Cerebral palsy, to me means...

...Celebrating tiny, minute, microscopic victories when your child can hold a spoon or sit alone or push her own hand through a coat sleeve...

...Walking extra slow everywhere you go as you hold the hand of a new walker who doesn't always look where she is going...

...Learning how to juggle a wheelchair, a walker, braces, feeding tubes, a pharmacy's worth of meds, a ten lb. medical notebook, diaper bags, your purse and oh yeah...your kid...and get it all in the door of a doctor/therapy center....all by yourself.

...Developing biceps that could put any body builder to shame after years of lifting a child and various equipment in and out of everything..

...Planning your vacation around handicap accessible hotels, parking spaces and businesses,
then packing for that vacation like you are going into a bomb shelter for the next five years..

...Being able to explain medical terminology to DOCTORS and give them advice on what to do about a condition...(also being asked what medical school you graduated from)...
SCHOOL OF HARD KNOCKS, BABY!

...Giving up everything you EVER loved in life, to spend all the time you can with a little kid who can't talk..

...Checking out every car parked in a handicap space to see if they really have a tag to park there, then reporting the EVIL DOERS!
...Savoring every opportunity to make memories and give your child that chance to be a kid...

...Cutting holes in your kid's footie pajamas so they can wear them and still access their G tube..

...Knowing all the different positions to hold hands, put on clothes, braces and transfer so that muscles can release and cooperate...

...Getting up 499 times every single night of your life to check and make sure she is breathing, feed and medicate her and make her comfortable...
...NEVER EVER, EVER giving up on your babe...

...KNOWING that you ARE equipped to DO this...That your child might have CP BUT CP does NOT have your child!

That what happened may be difficult but we are all defined by how we handle the challenges we are given.
Faith and I chose to see her challenges as a testimony for God's infinite love and compassion for us.
So, in many ways I am thankful for Faith's Cerebral Palsy and we wouldn't have it any other way.

(This is gonna be our new theme...REACHING!)


Now for a little shameless self promotion...




So I have finally set up an Etsy shop to try to earn some money. I am asking all my friends to go check it out....

and if you see something you like maybe come buy something. I can make custom collars besides the ones pictured.

Last year I taught myself how to make handmade dog collars..just for fun. I have made lots of them but mostly just given them away or put them on my pooches.

Each collar is one of a kind, no two are alike and they are adjustable. I pick all kinds of funky patterned ribbons and patches and colors to make them and use heavyweight thread and extra stitching on the edges for added safety.

I named my shop...what else?....Collars for FAITH.

I jokingly told my family I was gonna name it Dog collars for Divorce.
Hmmm...maybe I should rethink that.


Seriously, though the money will go to support me and Faith and maybe if I can do well with it we can survive. I am asking $12 for them.

If you go to Etsy's website and type in handmade dog collars or collars for faith, you should find it no problem and tell your friends too, maybe pass the word around and help me get the word out.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Random cuteness....

....Kisses from my girl are the BEST!

Faith learning all about the car...

Faith working, in therapy, on a cars study...part of our homeschooling unit study in January.

Yes, Faith you CAN be a ballerina.


Yes, folks we had SNOW in SC, this year...hard to believe but quite true. Snow was on the ground for over 11 days. We had over 8 inches in our yard...a record in the 17 years I've been here! Our super sweet neighbor showed up on the doorstep after three days of isolation to help me get Faith outside in the wagon to build a snow GIRL! She helped me dress Faith and load her in the wagon and push her up and down the hills. Faith had soo much fun! Thanks, Marti, we love you!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Today IS the day!!!!!!!!!!!! God's day!

Hello? Is anyone out there? Hello?

Tell all your friends to come to THIS blog.....today!

Today....a miracle happened....

Something that so many doctors said would never happen!

Something I was afraid to hope for.....

Something that I waited seven long years for....

Are you ready?

Today....

Faith walked!

Yes you heard it hear folks!

She walked six....count them six steps ALL by herself!

No hands or walkers to help her!

SIX PERFECT STEPS!

To the chair, twice!

Alllllllllll by herself!

I must say it was a lack of faith on my part...to allow myself to hope that one day she would do it without any help...just too much.
But TODAY...GOD showed everyone!

Thank you Father for Your perfect timing!

Thank you for showing me that I need to have more faith in YOU and in Faith!

Please join me today in thanking GOD for our miracles....each and every one!

Tell everyone you know about this miracle, please!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Did you ever just KNOW?

Did you ever have the feeling like You KNEW that you were doing the thing that GOD wanted you to do?

That unexplainable KNOWLEDGE....the PEACE..? The knowledge that you were born to do something? That no matter what bad stuff happened you could do that thing for the rest of your life and never get penny for it? That every morning you wake up looking forward to that thing?

I have had that peace for seven years now...almost eight...ever since I found out about this life inside me.

Even through all this turmoil...GOD himself has given me the unwavering peace that comes with a calling that I was born to do. I have talked my head off about this in the past but I feel it needs to be reiterated, TODAY! With every day that passes, I am more sure that THIS is what GOD wants me to be doing with my life. I can't really explain it very well. And I don't know if I will one day in the near future be asked to lay this calling down for a season while He works on this mess. I pray that is not the case but I am trying to listen for HIS words.
But for TODAY....today was another confirmation from my DADDY...

We made a trip up to the NC nature center for a field trip. I took her chair just in case she needed it but with the intention of letting her do some walking. Well, she walked the entire zoo! And let me say, it was no small feat! She walked for two hrs and ten minutes! And this place was built on a mountain! Holding my hand, my little storm trooper marched down those paths like she owned the place! She totally owned it, waving at people and blowing kisses to babies! Even a making two new family friends who had s.n. kids! People were cheering her on and encouraging her.

Let me say...I had not allowed myself to believe that one day...I might walk through a zoo holding hands with my daughter. It is a fault in faith that I have to admit to God. I was afraid to get my hopes up. I thought maybe one day she would be able to go to the store and use her walker but I wouldn't let myself believe that she could do more...that GOD could do more. FEAR...people. I try hard to be her #1 fan and cheerleader but sometimes it's hard to see that possibility that seems so....impossible.

Maybe I will never have a college degree or become president or make millions of dollars.

But what's a million dollars anyway?

I have witnessed so many miracles in my life...how can I question or doubt GODS wisdom or capacity? People, believe me when I say....
GOD is STILL in the business of performing miracles right here in little ole South Carolina! What wonders I have witnessed.

I am humbled.

I have seen the face of my Redeemer...in the face of my little girl every day, in the faces of so many perfect strangers who reach out to us, in the faces of family and friends who have shored me up in the last eight months, in the kind words of my friends here and in the miracles HE has shown me in Faith's life.

Some days It has been all I can do to drag myself out of bed one more day...and when I feel like my head is going under and I won't make it out alive HE lifts me up and draws me closer to HIM. Some people have something uncanny happen to them and they just say it was a fluke or randomness. But the things that have happened to us in the last eight months....cannot be dismissed! Only a perfect and mighty GOD of the universe could organize such unquestionable events.

Praise GOD...for his wisdom and kindness and unfailing love...even when I stumble and doubt and refuse to give it up to HIM.
Thank you Father, for giving me the chance to see my daughter walk and hold my hand after seven long years..forgive me for my doubts and fears. Something so small...so tiny to everyone else....can be such a wondrous miracle!

I wish I had the words...

Friday, February 18, 2011

Some new pics of me and my girl



Ok, so we finally got some time at the library to download some pics....finally!

Let me just say that through all this disaster I have lost a tremendous amount of weight. Not intentionally, but when I get under severe stress I stop eating. And believe me...with ALL the responsibility now on my shoulders...well food is at the bottom of my totem pole! Some days, I get to ten at night and I realize that I haven't eaten all day. So, I have dropped about 4 pant sizes! At least I will come out of this looking better...just kidding by the way.I had Faith's care aid make some good pictures of me and my girl to hang in the house to replace all the ones I had to take down. So here is a mix of those and several others in the last few months of all the stuff Faith has been doing..














Faith operating a remote control train..




Faith walking with her new friend, the skeleton, who needs a trip to the prosthetics lab...





These are pics at the Marble's kid's museum in Raleigh NC, Faith had so much fun that I had to drag her out crying!














Faith and one of her best friends at girl scouts, making valentine cards.



These are from the rec basketball games. I love this one of her friends walking her across the court.



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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Ok, now for some good news...

Sorry to all my dear friends for my miserable rants lately. There have been lots of really good things happening to Faith over the last months.
I am just gonna make a list since my prose is still struggling...

She is talking more everyday...attempting new words every single day.

She can now recognize when we go to visit family..when we go to my dad's house she gets excited as soon as we turn on his road and she starts pointing in the direction of his house. Super cute!

She is pulling up slowly but surely daily getting closer to standing independently every day.

She is can help get into my new van, stepping up with some support and even turning around to sit down.

She can now reliably recognize letters A,B and C when presented in fields of two. This is huge because my goal was for her to do it over a year but she is doing it now with 3 months to go!

She is, of course, walking holding my hand or a shopping cart.

This one is great, guys.....there is a commercial on GMC for a show called " Sue Thomas FBI" about a deaf woman who reads lips and signs...Faith recognizes that she is signing on the commercial and points it out to me every time she sees it, showing me signs with her own hands! Freaking darling!

She is beginning to understand counting...when I present several of the same objects and ask her to count them she will touch each one in sequence as I say the numbers out loud. You can tell she understands some of it b/c she will sometimes back up to see what number I will say.

She know all about the library now, her favorite place in the world, and gets soooo excited when we arrive there.

This is just a small example of the things she has been doing. She has made so much progress, it is amazing! I am so humbled to be her mom and to bear witness to God's miracles. It has given me so much hope and encouragement that He will provide for us and continue to protect us. I have lost my Internet connection so I haven't been able to upload any pictures yet but I have some neat ones when I get the chance.

Please keep us in your prayers.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Giving it up....

I know that this blog is supposed to be all about Faith and life with her but "life" has over run us....

I have struggled with a LOT of really brutal things over the last 8 months. Things I NEVER thought I would face or be forced to face...
Things that I cannot change or fix or bring back. I have been forced to see terrible things and witness dramatic changes that are too awful to ever get out of my head. Part of the realization is that our lives are forever changed. For me this is a really hard thing to face.

How can your life be so demolished by another person and you have no control over it? It's really frustrating...

Things that meant so much before...our home, our social circle, family...are all slipped down into a dark bottomless hole. Before all this I wanted to stay in our home for the rest of my life...I remember telling him that I wanted to be buried on our property...but now I am miserable here, it seems so empty and bad here.

I know we will have to give up a lot. My car is on the way out, being downsized for a ten yr old minivan. I try to remember that it's only stuff that as long as me and Faith are together that's all that matters but losing everything is hard when your life is destroyed too! I just think what could possibly be worth all this devastation?

My identity as a woman has been shaken to the core...what is left of me? Everything I thought I knew...a lie. How do I come back from that? My friends tell me to move on, forget him, forget our old life, to "get over it", but how do you do that after sixteen years? How do you do that when you don't even have the truth? Some nights i wake with a lump in my throat, sure that it was all a bad dream. I try...I really do...but how do I make sense of half of my life being lied to and never knowing it? I thought we had a Christian home, that we were united, that our family was safe. I don't know how to trust anyone anymore. I can't make sense of things that used to seem so clear. I feel like I am constantly looking over my shoulder, waiting for another terrible thing to happen to us.

I keep praying for wisdom...but I am struggling....

Father, I need your help, please lift me up....

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

So now what?

So after some of the shock has worn off.......just a little.

I need advice and help setting up a plan. I really need a way to earn some money but a regular job is out of the question.
I have a small idea dealing with a craft that has been stewing around in my head but I don't know how to try it out...fear... Being the operative word here.

I am open to other ideas I am just so overwhelmed I don't know where to turn. I have been praying for a long time that God would make a way to allow me to continue to home school Faith, so that is another monkey wrench in the mix.

All that matters to me anymore is to be able to care for my daughter so I know I have to get on top of things but......it sure is a beast!

So if any of my super smart, helpful, creative, ingenious bloggie friends have some ideas to shoot my way....I would be ever so grateful!

If you would rather email me at faithann04@att.net feel free.


Faith update:
she walked into therapy just holding my hand for the first time! Over to moon, I was! Could it be possible that once again my little iron girl will disprove all the professionals who cast doubt on her? One more huge deal she can walk in the stores now pushing a shopping cart by herself with just a little guiding!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Sorting out the mess...

The reality of it all...

My heart breaks...
Missing my husband, my life, my family...

How do I pick up the pieces?

What happens to us now?
All the hopes, dreams, lives....destroyed.

How am I supposed to do this alone?
How do explain where daddy is?
What do I even want for US now?

What happened?
I don't even understand and I don't even get the truth.

How do I recover? Heal? Forgive?

I don't have the answers...I keep praying for understanding, for healing,
for wisdom, for strength and most of all not to become bitter....
To learn something from this terrible tragedy....

But sometimes...
The answers, the healing, the wisdom and strength sure do take their sweet time finding me.


Please take a moment and pray for me specifically TODAY for my strength and for GOD'S comforting hand on my shoulder as I am weak and my heart is heavy.

Lost.....found....

Hello all my dear blog friends....
We are actually still living and breathing, believe it or not!
I know my post have been cryptic and few over the last seven or eight months but I guess the truth is now pretty public. I ask you all to pray for me and for Faith and for that matter...Carl too.

In July, Carl left us. There...I said it. It was a shock and my heart is truly broken.

I won't go into all the gory details in such a public domain but to say the least.... it has been brutal. Faith and I have been in a tough limbo land with a tremendous amount of changes and uncertainty in our Iives. I have struggled with intense emotions and overwhelm so blogging has been at the bottom of my totem pole. Anyway, I am going to try to get back into this and maybe get some therapy from it. I never expected to become a statistic but I guess there are a lot of things that are just out of our control.

To change the subject to a happier note...Faith is doing really well with her development. She just started walking holding someone's hand in the last few weeks and she is on top of the world! Balance is still a big issue but she is doing tremendously well. She can now identify letters a b and c by pointing and is working on numbest 1 2 and 3. I am so proud and humbled by her drive and determination! She can also get herself off the couch and is even talking more. She was made the honorary captain of the girls 10 and under basketball team complete with her own jersey! She is also being featured on our local hospital's website for the therapy center she attends.

My post will be brief but I will be doing more soon. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we are under intense fire from the enemy and I need God's protection.