Monday, June 28, 2010

Pregnant in the heat

32+ weeks pregnant... 6.5 year old daughter who is unable to do any of her own activities (including walking)... 2.5 year old daughter who got thrown quite off balance by Daddy's 5 day absence for a support-raising trip (lots of tantrums)... heat index = humidity (mid to high 80's for both)... no AC... I'm actually LOOKING FORWARD to a "calm" air-conditioned, semi-seated 14 hour day at work tomorrow (sorta)! ;-P

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Building our own wheelchair

Medicaid won't cover a stroller-type wheelchair which is really what I use most for Gracie since it's lightweight so I (even at 32 weeks pregnant) can lift it in and out of the car. It's also smaller so it doesn't crowd up our little house as much as her "big" wheelchair does. But she's outgrowing the loaner stroller that we have, PLUS, it's a loaner so we need to give it back!

So I won a Convaid Cruiser CX14 on ebay for a nice price (less than $200, new they are at least $1500). It's in rough shape, missing parts, etc. But a little TLC should bring it up to the shape we need it in. I'm using the opportunity to make it into the chair that we need for rough-terrain use in Uganda. It's too big for her now but should last her into adolescence (unless she keeps growing so much!!). We received $500 from Gateways (the Area Agency in Nashua) for this chair project! What a blessing!

Here's my plan for converting this chair - please comment if you have any ideas for me!

- I bought 12.5x2.25" tires with spoked wheel from a tractor supply store - ball bearings, pneumatic (so can be repaired easily in Uganda where people are used to repairing bicycle tires), wide, knobby tires. My problem is figuring out how to move the brake up so that there's enough room for a 12.5" wheel as opposed to 8" which is on there now. Convaid sells 12" knobby tires so it must be possible... any thoughts?

- I bought Special Tomato Soft Touch Liners (size 2) seat and back. Right now when I put the back on it throws her posture forward, so I have just the seat piece in and she looks pretty good.

- I'm going to get a swimming pool noodle from the dollar store and cut it up to use as lateral supports beneath her arms and behind her low back to bring her pelvis forward. Attach with heavy-duty velcro.

- I bought carseat harness padded covers to pad the harness at her neck (instead of buying a new $120 5-point harness which I may want to do at some point, but I've decided to not use this chair as a transport chair on the bus, so a new secure harness is less important).

- I ordered a kids' travel neck pillow for head support for her floppy days.

- I'm running out to the craft store to get extra slides and strap adjusters.

- Finally, we have lots of extra wheelchair trays around the house from her various other wheelchairs, so I tried a tray on her chair for arm support for her right arm especially - I haven't figured out how to put in on securely yet - I could buy a $200 bracket system... surely we can come up with something! Today I simply velcro'd it on and put a pillow on her lap so that the tray doesn't rest directly on her knees.

She seems to like it and isn't slumped over like she has been in her smaller chair... It's going to take more work though.

Any other thoughts about turning this chair into an all-terrain Uganda-ready chair for rutty paths that are flooded at some times and packed dry dirt at other times?

Ana figured out that she can color with Gracie on the tray (which is clear, in case you're confused) - Gracie loves it when Ana plays with her!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Support Raising

Josh is on a trip to PA for support raising - pray that all goes well, he makes the right contacts, etc. The girls and I stayed behind in NH. Part of me wishes that we had gone along to hang out with my sweet friend, Gina and her kids, but spending a few days at home is essential as we head out to IL next week for a very busy family reunion. Josh will be much more effective and efficient on his own without having to worry about us, naps, food, etc.

Gracie's enjoying sleeping in on her few weeks of vacation from school before summer school starts!

We had our pastoral candidate and his family visit for the last week - we all stayed very busy with that visit, very hopeful that we may soon have a pastor which will take a lot of the burden from Josh and allow him to do more support raising so that we can meet our goal of being in Uganda in January. He loves full time ministry but does also feel torn with many responsibilities and roles.

Exciting next few months! (I'm 32 weeks pregnant now - only a matter of weeks until "baby brother" is in our midst!)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Building my children's literature collection

I bought a book called, "The Book Tree - a Christian Reference for Children's Literature" by Elizabeth McCallum and Jane Scott. I hope to use this as a guide as I plan on the children's books to take to Uganda for homeschooling. We've already sent several boxes of books to Seattle to be on a shipping container to be sent to Uganda. Hopefully the books fare well in a container on a ship!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Why adoption?

Alliance logo color backdrop

"Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory..." (Eph. 3:20-21)

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