Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Indoor playground

Gracie is extremely hard to occupy at home - away from the thrills, equipment, and man-power of school. So I applied for discretionary funds from our local area agency and got them! We were awarded funds to buy Gracie the Rainy Day Indoor playground with adapted swing! Now she can swing safely while I help the other kids rather than having to sit or lay on the floor doing her one and only solo activity: taking items out of bins!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Gracie in her KidWalk


First of all, happy birthday, Noah!



Gracie has been doing such wonderful things in her KidWalk! At Mimi's house, the hard-wood floors and open concept are so wonderful for her to move around by herself! She has been turning herself by using one hand on the wheel and pushing with the opposing leg - excellent!



She is so silly - always trying to crack us all up and usually succeeding! She has to discover things now that other kids might have discovered at a younger age - like how to not pinch her fingers in drawers....







Tuesday, August 9, 2011

"Therapies" on the road


We're on the road for the entire summer, so we're finding creative ways to get Gracie's therapy in. It's not hard with Gracie since she loves playing and loves being with people!




Lots of time in the water this summer - beach, pools - she's been loving it! Yesterday she spent probably an hour all told standing in the pool and holding onto a rope to stabilize herself!
Museums always have interesting things to do (our lovely ASTC passport program allows us to spend an hour or so at museums across the country for free!!).
We find interesting sensory and fine motor activities.


On her feet as much as possible weight bearing.

Sitting independently - especially at dining room tables (which I don't have pictures of because I'm usually by her side making sure she doesn't tumble!).

Long times in the car are perfect for long static stretches like her right arm in the UltraFlex (we've seen GREAT results from the UltraFlex! Well worth the cost!).

Monday, August 8, 2011

Clarification

Something I wrote was misunderstood (and I will change it in the original post): I mentioned "interpersonal conflict" in our church family. I simply meant the ins and outs of daily life - the painful (although not necessarily catastrophic!) daily things that arise in all of our lives. Please do not misunderstand. There are no major issues in our church that I was specifically referring to. We simply miss giving those hugs when someone is sad, being able to go visit someone when a loved one is in the hospital, or helping with reconciliation when conflict arises (and in family life it always does! We are, afterall, SINNERS, even when we are redeemed by God's Grace!). I am NOT referring to any specific situations and never will refer to specific situations in the church.

As a rule, I do not post about specific events which could have any private or confidential implications. Please tell me directly and I can explain or correct my post if you are concerned about anything.

Thanks!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Alabama






There is something so precious about little girls holding hands - friend Hannah and Ana bonded and enjoyed walking together, holding hands, taking care of each other!

We enjoy finding boundless playgrounds - playgrounds designed for children in wheelchairs or with unique capabilities. This playground in Montgomery had a swing that was great for Gracie but it was so low to the ground that her legs dragged on the ground - not safe for Gracie-girl since she doesn't control her legs! So, instead, we found this other swing that was very different and she really enjoyed it! Looks like something easy enough to make!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Living between worlds

The condo is empty. All signs of the three children who were raised there are erased by a fresh coat of paint and a good scrubbing.

The upstairs bedroom is stuffy and bursting. Breaking boxes line the wall, waiting to be sorted through. Each child has a spot to call their own on pillows on the floor, each with a special blanket to mark it as home. The room is empty too.

The van is creaky, the windows splattered with countless bugs. The kids are each snuggled in their own carseat – perhaps more at home in their carseats than anywhere else. Toys in baskets are only minimally interesting at this point and conversations revolve around “where we going next?”

We are no longer fully invested in our lives in New Hampshire. We still feel the pain of difficult situations in our church [as there are in any church family] but we are not available to help. That makes the heartache even more difficult as we feel for people but are far away – a harbinger of things to come!

We have not yet lived in Uganda and do not know many people there, but we spend our days and nights talking about it. We are forced to share with others as if we are the experts on Uganda – perhaps we are more expert than those who haven’t read every book available on Uganda and the surrounding region. But we are, by no means, experts.

The life between worlds is a very difficult life, probably more than we even understand now. Our children are used to goodbyes (although Ana really struggles with goodbyes as she is just at the age where she understands that a goodbye means that we will not see that person “on the next day”). We feel the pain of the daily ins and outs of life in a sinful world in our home church family as we feel the pain of lack of milk in the orphanage in Uganda. Thoughts of abandoned babies and untrained pastors hungry for God’s word jumble with thoughts of new babies born in New Hampshire, aging grandparents, and lonely people in every locale that we visit.

Although this life on the road is a bit extreme, our life in Uganda will only be slightly different. Living away from our family and friends will not lessen the joys and heartache that we will feel for them. Living away from them will only mean that we cannot act on our joy and pain as we would like to. Living away from them means that we will slip from their minds a little, or in some cases, completely. Living away from friends and family means that we will often be praying for them without knowing exactly how to pray.

We will certainly be seeking out friendships in Uganda, but do not expect to find a church home quite like ours in New Hampshire, not friends as close as family as we cross cultures. We believe in a God who is sovereign and watches out for us and seeks the best for us. We rest in Him. We rest on His promises and care. We trust that He knows what we need more than we know ourselves. And this is joy!

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