Monthly Archives: August 2011


I like  change.  I’m doing a lot of it lately.  It would only make sense for my blog to do the same.

The new blog, effective IMMEDIATELY is

I will begin blogging there tomorrow.

Please be sure to subscribe via email on the right side of the new site!!


Today in School…

As I sit and type this, we are halfway through our school day.  The kids are playing outside (the weather is PERFECT I may add!!) and in a bit we’ll go in for lunch then I’ll prepare for the second half of the day.  Sometimes I prepare are night, sometimes the day of-with HEART OF DAKOTA it’s basically that easy.  I’m positive with KONOS I’m on the right track with planning 1-2 weeks ahead. 

Since I haven’t uploaded a picture post in a while-these are my children in school.  Really, I couldn’t imagine life any other way-sending them off and having someone impersonal teach them and not love every moment of it like I am.  (well, I don’t love EVERY moment all the time, but really-amazing doesn’t even describe how much I love home schooling my children.

Now…on to the pictures!!


They are taking their animals on a walk of the letter E.  Alexander obviously doesn’t need this-but the rest of them do.


In one of the “classes” (I can’t remember if it was prek with Mayah or some K with David (they all join in most of the activities together) we learned about Joseph giving his brothers food.  David got to be Joseph (as you can see in the picture on the left, he is LOVING it) and we lined up 10 animals (and counted them in sign language) and each child had to take an animal to Joseph and Joseph said, “why are you here?” and they all replied, “to buy food”  (Mayah only had to say, “food”) and they all bowed with their animals.  Alexander made a comment they were going to play this game later.  I love them!


We also learned about Rahab and the wall-the scarlet rope-Jericho.  So…I drew bricks on their papers and made “mortar” (toothpaste, glue and shaving cream) and put them in zip-loc baggies.  When it was time, each child had to “mix” their mortar and then I cut a corner off the bag and they put on the mortar in between the bricks like icing.  Surprisingly enough Gage did not need a bath when he was done.  Afterwards, we glued a rope to the wall. 


Alexander was reading a Bible story to his brothers and sister before we went outside to play.

I’m so excited to start KONOS-the library has called with some of our books being ready.  I’m sure they’ll be calling for the next few days as they all filter in.  I am pretty sure I have everything (except the books) to start our first week. 


First off, if you went to Adeye’s blog as I had posted a few days ago-please visit again and see that in less than 24 hours the entire ransom Liliana was raised!!  Adeye’s Blog





Isn’t God amazing?  I completely believed a family would step up for Liliana right away since God saw that the money was raised so quickly.  As David would say, “God is so cool!”  Yes He is, David.

My KONOS curriculum arrived the other day.  I cannot express how excited I am to start this with the kids.  KONOS made is so easy to prepare for the week’s lessons.  I’m impressed.  On the week’s lesson page they tell you what books and supplies you will need.  It’s up to you what activities you choose to do with your kids-and KONOS curriculum volumes are good for kids K-8 I believe.  So, if we like KONOS we will just have to buy volumes 2 and 3 eventually. 

Our first character trait we are studying will be attentiveness.  We will be learning about the ear and how we hear.  This is going to be a great learning tool for the kids to understand how their sister hears (a little bit now, but more when her BAHA’s are put in) without ears.  Thanks to the list of books I need for week 1 I have already ordered them from the library.  I’m waiting for all of them to come in.  Hopefully by Thursday they will all be in.

We are 6 weeks into our school year with our HEART OF DAKOTA curriculum  No complaints.  We have really enjoyed doing it-I really just think KONOS is what I’ve been wanting all along but didn’t know it existed.

Time will tell.  If KONOS isn’t right-no harm no foul.  We love trying new things. 

Another thing we’re starting to like is church hopping.  We have a home church-and thankfully our church also offers services on Saturday nights-which is the night Dan and I volunteer there in various ministries.  That leaves Sundays open.  Sundays are relatively relaxed.  Unlike many Saturdays where Dan works-and we do school.  Sundays the kids get to just be.  Only they do have to help clean while Daddy does some yard-work or car work-or man house work.  The kids have to sweep their bedroom floors, help with laundry if we have some left by Sunday-and just tidy up.  I scrub floors and will be teaching the kids how to dust…however—we have been trying a new church for 2 Sundays-just to go.  We are not looking to change churches at all.  However, the body if Christ is ONE BODY..not one body per church building…so why not get fed again with an extra dose on Sunday too?

Alexander and I sat and looked a few local churches online tonight and have our next one picked out.  We’re looking forward to it.  They have children’s ministry-which is an obvious must-have for us and from what we can tell-it seems like a decent place to try.  Guess we’ll know when we try it.

I have got to blog again tomorrow-it seems I have so much to get caught up on!

I’m sorry I don’t have any pictures to share today-maybe I’ll add some tomorrow. 

I’ll have to find another time to blog-Dan and I have been listening to CHURCH ONLINE with and then the following night we do the “talk it over” questions and Bible study together.  We’re really enjoying growing our faith together.

Good night, friends!

tammy signature

Adeye Needs YOUR Help!!

Hello friends,

I’m copying the rest of this blog post DIRECTLY from my wonderful friend, Adeye Salem.

If you are hesitant about contacting her and donating an item she is asking for, please please PLEASE explore older posts on her blog.  You will be able to see the children who have been saved from dying alone because she is obeying God’s call to do all she can to get them home.


urgent. urgent. urgent.

Today my heart is in a million pieces.  I am speechless.  Absolutely speechless!
I simply cannot sit back and do nothing.  I will regret it forever.  So I’m jumping in with many others to try and help. 
I’m on a mission–more urgent than any I have ever taken on before.  Others are getting on board too, word is spreading, and this is fast becoming a community effort.
But I need some help ASAP. 
I’m looking for donated items again.  Sadly, this time is very different–time has never been so crucial.  There is no time to spend days and days putting together a massive fundraiser like I did for Vanya
I’m in need of a few bigger items–like an iPad, iPod, Kindle, Nook…anything like that.
If you, or anyone you know, is willing to jump in with me and donate an item to be used in a giveaway, please let me know ASAP and I will give you details.  Trust me–your hearts will break too.
I’m hoping to have a post up and running really soon. 
Please pray with me that the God of the universe will move mountains.

Who Doesn’t Love Bowling?

So Friday someone in my home school group posted about Bowling at a local alley. 

Since we just joined the group we are still learning of the regular HS activities offered by local places. 

Then, my BFF told me about Kids Bowling For Free!! so I checked out the website and the lanes we were headed to offered this program.  The kids were so excited.

The lanes were next to empty and absolutely perfect for me to take all 4 kids bowling for the first time. 


Getting ready!!


Excited girlie


Gage is never without a stance or funny face.  This was after he sent his boll rolling.


After he got the hang of it-Alexander actually did pretty well!


really…who doesn’t love the hand dryer?  Mayah spent much of her time with her face over top of it.


Sitting nicely.  (if any child got up s/he had to give their turn to someone else) needless to say, Gage was the only one who lost his turn…twice)




It’s a little hard to teach my lefty some things…but after David had one ball just stop from lack of momentum-the guy brought out the ramp.  Gage used it and I allowed the other kids to use it on their second turn to knock down the rest of the pins.  Eventually Gage was the only one using it- and even then he quit by the middle of the second game and wanted to play like the other kids-and the other kids were getting the hang of it.  They played 2 games together, it was so nice. 

I had a great time and so did the kids.  We will be going back again for the next one…but we’re also going ice skating too….sometime.  It’s hard to coordinate a schedule of fun things around our actual schooling and Mayah’s speech and OT appointments.  But we’re getting there.

So, Are You Attached Yet?


I remember that question being asked by someone in DECEMBER.  DECEMBER!  Mayah came home in December.  This was shortly after I pulled our family back to seclusion a bit.  Like a few days of not going anywhere would break 7 long years of neglect and pain. 

It is incredibly hard as an adoptive parent to simply be a parent.  Since I only have experience with an older child-I would have to say, for the most part, it’s probably harder to parent an older adoptive child than a baby.  I’m sure adopted babies come with their own sets of rules, limitations and puzzles to solve. 

Our daughter has been home for just over 8 months.  I’m sure she is not bonded with us.  Yes-love overcomes many obstacles-so we will continue to push forward. 

She internalizes every thing. 

She has a high pain tolerance.

She has no sense of self.

She’s more like a baby than our 2 year old.

We have to find a balance.

Things in our house are not chaotic.  Mayah simply blends in.  That’s always been the problem-her blending.  She’s very good at it.  She mimics what the other children do-and keeps a “normal” distance.  By normal I mean it seems as though she is bonded and fits nicely into the family. 

Mayah cannot communicate in any way what her old life was like.  In fact, I truly believe she has almost forgotten it altogether. 

Completely forgotten.

Admittedly, I get a bit jealous when I read on another adoptive mom’s blog that their child is beginning to express what their old life was like in the orphanage.  Albeit terrible, the child is still expressing it.  It is hard to accept we will never know what Mayah’s life was like before we got there.  We have to fully rely on the Holy Spirit for guidance.  I’m not saying that’s a bad thing-but there is comfort in having a tangible leg to stand on when it comes to helping your child cope. 

There’s also comfort I knowing I have to draw even nearer to the Lord so HE can help me deliver my daughter from her past life. 

Mayah is suffering.

A lot.

It’s easy to just “let her be” because she blends so well.  However-no child can spend 7 years completely neglected-likely abused-and come out like our typically developing home -grown sons. 

So here we are back at the drawing board.  Seeking the One who made us to help us.   He will deliver us so we can deliver her.  None of it’s possible without His help.  His gentle guidance. 

Not only do we need to evaluate and change some bonding activities with Mayah-this is beginning to affect our boys as well.

People who don’t live in our house don’t hear the:   “Mommy why does Mayah get that and we don’t?”  (even though they did as babies they just don’t remember it)

“Mommy why don’t you do that with us?”  (even though we did and they just aren’t remembering it now)

“Mommy, why do you love Mayah more than us?”


I can take the dirty looks.  I can take the judging from [family] and non family members alike who have no idea what it’s like to bring a secretly hurting institutionalized child into the family.  I can accept every single move I make is being scrutinized by someone because they don’t think I like my daughter and I should just “let her be” –after all she’s blending right in.

“Mommy, why do you love Mayah more than us?”

And that’s where the new activities are going to be implemented.  It breaks my heart to hear that question.  My sons know that I love them.  But they are now seeing some new behaviors that aren’t “normal” for me to do with a 7 year old girl-“normal” for a brand new baby-but not a 7 year old (almost 8) who can play right along with them.  We are seeing they too need their own special treatment.  So today marks a new day.  In an effort to reduce those questions and any anxiety the boys are having-we will work extra harder at making them feel loved and secure as well.  Sure, we won’t do the same things we’re doing with Mayah-but each one has his own way of needing his Mama.  Today-today is the day we outwardly seek their silent cries and quench them with love. 

I have a feeling this will also help our overall bonding with Mayah as a whole. 

Thanks for the prayers, friends.

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   God is working a mighty work.