8iRWeiXjcKj9kUz5Tebo4_k_FtY Life with Two Special Needs Children: July 2008

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Sines House Has Expanded

Well, about 10 months ago, seperately, God started laying on Tony and my hearts that we should pursue fostering children. Tony brought it up first and I told him I had been thinking the same thing.

We began the process, but not quickly. It took some time, but we finally got through everything. We received our temporary foster care license July 3rd. We had to have an inspection by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. When we had our inspection, the worker told me that we were the first initial inspection that she had done that had everything done correctly and no violations of the regulations, especially since the regulations had just changed and they were a lot more stricter now.

On Wednesday, July 24th, I got a phone call from our foster care worker and we were asked to take two little kids, 15 month old (boy) and 2 year old (girl). They are great kids. They are having extended visits with Mom right now and will probably be going home with her within a few months. Caleb and Cassidy are doing well and wanting to help. Cassidy is wanting to be a parent!

Yes, we're probably crazy, but we're following God's leading!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Vacation Part 5 - Ride the Duck

Thursday morning we had tickets to Ride the Duck. It was an absolutely beautiful day and the kids had a blast!! The Duck is an amphibious vehicle based on a famous WWII DUKW amphibious design, so it will drive on land and then float on water.

As we were getting on, everyone received a duck call that you blew everytime you saw another duck. Here are a couple of pictures of Tony and Cassidy.

Here is a video of the duck calls.

Here is a picture of Caleb and Margaret as we are entering the water near Branson Belle. Caleb was not real sure as we were going into the water.

Here is a picture of The Branson Belle that was off to the side of where we entered the water.

Here is another Duck that we passed on the water.

Here is a boat that was on the water while we were there.

Here is Captain Hillbilly. He was very fun. Once we got out into the lake, he allowed the kids to come up and drive the boat.

Cassidy was one of the first kids to go up. She has no fear!!!

Caleb was a little bit unsure about it, but Captain Hillbilly was very patient with him and helped him a lot. It was great to see Caleb doing something that scared him and doing such a great job. A huge thank you to Captain Hillbilly for his patience with Caleb, without even knowing that Caleb has special needs! Somehow while Caleb was driving some water got in the boat and got Margaret's shirt wet. Caleb apologized over and over again to Margaret!!

Margaret even went up and drove!!

This will be the last post about our vacation, as Friday it was raining and we didn't do a whole lot. The entire trip was a great time. It was a much needed time to get away and relax!!

Cardiologist Visit Today - GREAT NEWS!!!!

Three years ago when we received Caleb's diagnosis and prior to starting any medication, Caleb's doctor wanted to run a number of different tests, especially since we didn't have a complete medical history from Caleb's birthparents. One of the tests was an EKG. After it was completed, we learned that there was some concern about the results. They wanted to redo the EKG to make sure it was an accurate result.

The second test's results were the same. So they set us an appointment with the the pediatric cardiologist. When we went in they did another EKG and then the doctor performed an echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart). When he came back to the room to discuss the results he told us that Caleb's heart was slightly enlarged. He cautioned us on the types of medications that we should avoid for Caleb. He also wanted to see him back in six months to redo all the tests.

At the second visit to the cardiologist they completed another EKG and echocardiogram. At that time Dr. Allen told us that Caleb's heart size was within the normal range; however, it was on the very high end of normal. He gave Caleb no physical restrictions, but still cautioned us on the medications to avoid. He said that he wanted to see Caleb in two years to redo all the tests.

Today was Caleb's two year check-up with the cardiologist. And I'm very happy to report, that Caleb's heart is just fine!!!!! He said that we don't need to go back, unless at a later time Caleb begins to develop problems.

We are PRAISING God for his provisions of Caleb's health on this issue.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Vacation Part 4 - Go Kart Riding

Wednesday afternoon we took the kids to ride the go karts. Cassidy had told us a while ago while we were watching a race that she wanted to be a race car driver. We told her that right now she could only drive go karts. So until we took her she kept asking us when she was going to drive go karts.

We first wanted her to ride with Tony to make sure she wasn't scared. We should have known better. She has no fear!

Here are Margaret and Caleb in the purple car (Caleb's favorite color!).

Daddy and Cassidy right behind getting ready to go.

After they did their ride along, we took the kids to the karts that they could drive. Here is a video of their ride. It was fun watching them. Cassidy had such a determined look on her face. I hope you'll be able to see it!.

Since the video is longer, I had to upload it to YouTube. Here is the link - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dpNUjXnvspk. Hopefully this works!!

Vacation Part 3 - Shepherd of the Hills and Pony & Horseback Riding

Wednesday we got up and went to Shepherd of the Hills. Here is a picture of the kids in front of a waterfall.

Here is a picture of the tower at the Shepherd of the Hills. Tony walked up there and went to the top while I took the kids to ride the ponies and Margaret went on a horseback ride.

Here is a picture that Tony took from top of the tower. It's absolutely beautiful. I wish I had been able to go, too!

Here is a picture of Caleb in a house that was built in a play yard.

The next two pictures are of the kids outside of the gift shop.

Here are the kids riding the ponies.

And Margaret getting ready for her horseback riding trip.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Vacation Part 2 - Train Ride

I really didn't mean to go over two weeks without posting another part of our vacation story, but that's life sometimes, especially with two children that keep me on the go. Over the last couple of weeks we have had psychosocial group, a psychiatrist appointment, summer play day at church and ROCKO, which I enjoyed immensley.

ROCKO is a respite organization that we have been utilizing for over a year. They are staffed with special education teachers, occupational therapists, speech therapists, music therapists, et cetera, that take care of the kids while the parents/caregivers get a much needed break. This last event was six hours! I dropped the kids off and was able to meet Tony for lunch. Then I really didn't know what to do with myself. (How pathetic is that????!!!!????) But I got some shopping done and some reading! The kids have a blast and they are very well taken care of!!! The organization is an absolute God-send!!!!!!

Well, back to our vacation story. We went to Branson Landings on Sunday morning and walked around before the stores opened. It's absolutely beautiful down there. We saw the train station and thought about riding the train. We walked over there, but they were closed. We told the kids we would go the next day. However, when we got up Monday morning it was raining. The kids didn't mention it and we just kind of hung out at the resort Monday and relaxed. We decided to go on Tuesday instead.

Tuesday morning we got up and headed to the train station for the first departure of the day. Here is the train that we rode on. It wasn't the prettiest day, but it was still nice.

The kids were so excited to ride the train. This is a picture of Margaret and the kids while we were waiting for the train to depart. I can't remember why Cassidy had such a sour face, but we probably didn't allow her to do something that she wanted to do.

Here's Tony and the kids sitting on the train while we went through a tunnel.

The train ride was very peaceful and relaxing until Cassidy decided to throw a fit and I had to take her to the bathroom for timeout. One of the staff came back to check on us and told her if she would stop crying he'd let her wear his hat. Didn't work with our stubborn little one! Shortly after the trip started in an open field I saw two deer running through the field. It was such a beautiful sight at God's creation!

Here is Margaret and Caleb on the train. We're very glad Margaret was able to spend the trip with us. We all enjoyed having her with us. She's a great young lady and we are very proud of all that she has accomplished. She loves the kids so much and they absolutely adore her.

Tony's camera allows him to take videos. So I'll try loading this video and see if it'll work. I hope so!

We'll, that's it about the train. I'll post more pictures of more of our vacation and a video of kids driving go-carts.