"I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you." John 14:18

Monday, October 31, 2011


The boys have been so excited for this day to come.  They picked out their costumes in September and have been wearing them EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.  Clayton is a Jedi, Oliver is a Ninja and Elliot...well...it depends on what moment.

We spent Sunday afternoon at Mimi and Gongi's house.  This is a family tradition and the kids have so much fun!  Elliot was himself for most of the afternoon.
The Halpin Family Cousins
Here is his darling dinosaur costume, but as you can see the look on his face, he did not like it.  He cried and cried until I took it off.  
 Cool Jedi Clayton
On Halloween, the boys finally got to carve their pumpkins.  Oliver wanted to do a ghost on both sides and Clayton decided to pick something REALLY hard and did Perry the Platupus from Phineas and Ferb.

 I tried the costume another time....FAIL....he looks happy here, but that was just for a second.

 He ended up going as Peter Pan (old costume from when Oliver was 2).  It was more like wearing clothes, so he was okay with it.  Olivia was so good with him trick-or-treating.  She made sure he saw every single step and held his hand the whole way.  She is going to be a great big sis.

 Look at all that Loot!

 The whole crew!  The Walls Family cousins.

The boys are already talking about what they will be next year.  Elliot will probably be going as himself.  


I am emotionally drained which is also making me physically drained.  So, if you have seen me lately and I look drained...well, I am!!  God has been really molding me and it has been painful.  He is changing things that I was not prepared for or ever thought of.  There have been lots of tears shed this week.  Adoption is the hardest journey I have ever been on.

One of my favorite worship songs is "Hosanna" sung by Hillsong.  Two lines in that song make me cry every time.  "Break my heart for what breaks yours" and "Open up my eyes to things unseen".  I pray this every morning.  God continually does this for me.  He broke my heart for the orphan and opened my eyes to His calling on my life. This past week he has opened up my eyes and broken my heart yet again.  He has called me and Joel in a slightly different direction.  Not huge, but just not what I had in mind, not what I had planned for.  (maybe I should stop praying for this...HA!)  I am not ready to share yet, but soon....This past week, I was led to this verse Romans 12:2 "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will."  I am so thankful that He leads me to His word in these times.

The uncertainty of the road ahead is hard.  Isaiah 7:10 says "If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all".  I am going to continue to trust Him no matter hard or long or difficult this is.  I love in the book of Job how God responds to Job by asking him who created this world? who makes the sun rise and the sun set?  who tells the ocean where to stop?  who set the stars in motion?  Where you there, Job?  He wanted us to know that He is completely in charge, He is in control.  God is God and we are NOT!!!  He is BIG and does not fit into a box.  I am guilty of trying to fit Him in a box and trying to control His every move.  It only makes things harder.

This weekend I was able to do a ropes course.  I was completely terrified.  I don't like heights or free falls...and that is pretty much what this was.  I had to climb a giant pole and stand on a wobbly platform and then I was attached to a rope.  Then I was told to jump.  I had to choose whether or not I was going to trust that that rope was going to hold me.  So, I did.  I jumped.  And, it wasn't so bad. It was actually fun.   It is the same way with God.  I just need to jump in with faith, He will carry me and I just need to enjoy the ride!!

My face says it all!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Ollie's Eyes

Oliver came home at the beginning of the month with a sticker that said "I had my vision and hearing screening today."  Then, two weeks later, he had the same sticker.  It thought that was weird.  I was going to ask the nurse about it one day when I was up there, but I didn't want to seem crazy.  On Friday, he came home with a note that said he had 20/80 vision in his right eye and 20/20 vision in the left.  I am not sure why this has never been caught before.  He has never had any visible vision problems and I have never noticed his eyes doing crazy things.  I got him an appointment for Monday to have his eyes checked.  

Thankfully, we were able to leave the other boys at home.  This was quite a process.  So many eye checking machines.  Then, he had his eyes dilated and we went through all the eye checking machines again.  While his eyes were dilating, we went next door for some yummy frozen yogurt.  Since it was just him, he got to get whatever he wanted.

 This whole time I was trying to process how old and how different he will look with glasses.
 The diagnosis is amblyopia  or "lazy eye".  Basically, the brain stopped using that eye and it has atrophied.  He has been using his left eye to see and he can see perfectly out of that eye.  The glasses will hopefully get his brain to start using the right eye again.  With the glasses, he has a prescription in the right lens and nothing in the left.  The glasses will only be able to correct his vision to 20/40 at this point and gradually we hope to get it seeing 20/20 with glasses.  If we stop seeing progression in the vision, we will start patching the left eye and forcing the right eye to be used.  I am so thankful that we caught this early.  At 5, his eyes are still developing and we can get the right eye to work again.  We will be seeing the eye doctor every three months to recheck his vision.  I am so glad he will be followed closely.

We then had to find some glasses....for a 5 year old....that won't break in seconds....and that look cute...and that don't cost 1 million dollars. I nearly had a heart attack at the eye doctor.  The only frames that fit him were 200 bucks and that was just for the frames.  YIKES!!  Gigi met me at eyemasters and we had a much bigger selection and much better prices 2/$99 and that included to lenses. WHEW!!
Eyeglass shopping is not the greatest experience with a FIVE YEAR OLD.  He was nuts!  I was in tears.  Thankfully, we had Gigi to hold it all together.  She is a pro glasses shopper!!
He was so disappointed when we could not take the glasses home.  But, we were going to go get them the very next day.

 I tried to explain to him that he had to wear them all the time except for sleeping.  Hard concept...after an hour, he told me he was ready to take them off and that he could see perfectly out of his eye now.  Poor guy! But, once we got home, he did much better!  
Here is our cute, cute Ollie P!
(He was not in the picture taking mood, so here is the best I got)
This is pair #1.  His favorite.  

Pair #2   I think he looks so cute in both, so I don't really have a favorite.  Clayton likes these the best.

 Silly Daddy!!
Now, I have to entrust my 5 year old baby to take care of these precious little glasses while he is at school.  We got the flex kind that you can bend and twist without breaking, so hopefully he will not break them or lose them on his first day ...or EVER!  Within the first 10 minutes they were covered in fingerprints and he couldn't even see out of them.  I hope he continues to be confident and know that he is a wonderful boy even if someone says something mean about his glasses.  His sweet teacher read the book "Arthur's Eyes" to the class today to hopefully make the transition easier for him.  So thoughtful!  Love her!  We talked about the superheroes that wear glasses (Spiderman and Superman) and Harry Potter. He thought that was cool! Oh, and he thinks Wolverine wears glasses too...why not?   He looks so big and that is what makes it hard for me!

"Yightning Ma'fween"

This is the "yightning Ma'fween Baket" Or Lightning McQueen Basket for those who do not speak Elliot. It goes everywhere with Elliot.  Lightning sleeps with Elliot, eats with him, rides in the car, goes to football games...you name it...he goes.  He carries it on his arm like a "murse".  It is filled with all his favorite cars and trains.  It is actually an Easter basket that he saw at the top of our coat closet and insisted that I get it down.
It has not left his side ever since.  Well, except for when I make him leave it in the car for church or bsf or other places that many other two year olds might want to play with his "yightning ma'fween".  That would not go over well.  Els is not really big into sharing!  Might be due to the fact that he has to fight for his things with his two older brothers!!

At night, he pulls out the three little Lightning McQueens and they all sleep side-by-side right next to him.
Such a funny boy!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Fallen World

I feel awful.  I had to have a terrible talk with my son this morning about a horrible tragedy that happened to a child at his school on Friday.  I wish he never had to know about the evil things that happen in this world.  I wish I could protect him from the sinful things that happen around us.  I have been sick about it all weekend.  How do I tell him this?  How do I tell him how a mother could do such a thing to her child?  He turned ghostly white when I told him and asked how someone could do something so awful.  

We talked about our fallen world.  How we are all sinners.  He asked me if the little boy knew God and his mom.  Sad...I have no idea.  We talked about Romans 3:23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and how we need to stay close to God and talk to Him at all times.  I assured him that I would never do anything like that to him and that I loved him.  We will be praying for this family, his class and teacher at school.

I decided to protect Oliver from this.  He is way to young to learn some of life's yucky lessons.  Clayton, of course, is now fine.  I am still all torn up inside.  

Monday, October 17, 2011

Arbo Pumpkin Patch 2011

There were millions of pumpkins at the arbo today and the whole time Elliot said"You see that punkin?  Look a punkin.  You see a punkin?  Mommy, you see a punkin?"  It was so cute.  He was pointing all of them out to me.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Neighborhood Fall Festival

We had a little neighborhood fall festival this weekend.  The kids had so much fun.  They had some little games, prizes, face painting and a bounce house.  Oh, and food!!  

 They all wanted Tigers for their school Mascot.  Quite impressive for a free face painting.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Sunshine Award

Oliver received the Sunshine Award today.  It is for a "smiling face who brightens up everyone's day".  He was chosen out of the whole kindergarten.  I am SO SO SO proud of him!!  This is his first award.

 "I see O-ye, I see O-ye"
 Mrs. Shehane and Oliver
 Gigi came to watch him get his special award.  I was so sad I could not be there.  I was at work.  BOO!!
We are so proud of you, Ollie!