Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Monday, October 26, 2015

Weekly Memory Verse - Week 10 {with link up}

I hope everyone has a blessed week this week! 

ABC's and Sweet Tea

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Great Scott!! It's back to the future day! Wordless Wednesday

After today, the entire Back to the Future trilogy will take place in the past. My daughter decided she was going to dress up futuristic since that's the way we are supposed to be dressing per the movie!

For more WW posts or to link up your own, just click the link below!

Wordless Wednesday at Life at Rossmont

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The Coming of the King Prayer Garden

One of my favorite things to do is to drive around aimlessly. I love to turn the music up, and just drive. A couple of Saturdays ago my husband came home from work and told us to go get in the truck, we were going for a drive. I was in! I didn't know where he was taking us, but he did tell us to grab the camera.

As we started driving we were getting into the hilly part of Texas. 39 years, and I have never see this part of our state! It really is beautiful.

As we neared the town of Kerrville, you could see a beautiful cross on top of a hill. It was amazing! I had no clue what or where it was, but I knew I had to see it up close! I didn't realize this was where he was taking us. My husband had passed it many times on his way to see a customer, and he new we would love it.

As we approached the entrance, you could see a sculpture of huge nails.

To the right of the nails is a parking lot. More beautiful sculptures and works of art. We loved this one of "Mary, Mother of Jesus."

There's another one called 12 stones on the other side of the parking lot.

After you enter the park, you drive up a long and winding hill until you come to another parking lot and the main garden. This is at the top of the hill after you park.

 Let me just say, until you see it in person, you just can't comprehend the size of this cross! As you enter the garden, you are greeted by this beautiful "Fisher of Men" sculpture. This sculpture depicts Jesus Christ at the Sea of Galilee calling Andrew and Simon Peter to follow Him to become fishers of men. It had such a holy feeling here. As soon as I walked up I could feel the presence of God. There were so many groups and individuals praying, that it almost felt disrespectful to talk.

As you walk down the path to the "Empty Cross", you can see that the "Path to Heaven" is made up of 77 scriptures in different languages. They are all in logical progression.

After we were there a few minutes my husband realized the entire garden was in the shape of a cross. I didn't even realize it, probably because I was just so caught up in the entire place. I took this pic from the Internet.

Each side of the cross has a beautiful sculpture. To the right is "Divine Servant." This sculpture depicts Jesus Christ washing the feet of Simon Peter on the night before the crucifixion.

To the left arm of the cross is "The Great Commission" sculpture. This sculpture depicts the World, the Word, and the Rock.  Jesus Christ is the Word and the Rock who created the World. 

Right in front of the cross is "The Coming King" sculpture. It symbolizes when Jesus comes back in all of His glory as a warrior and king!

 Towering at the back of the garden is the amazing cross that stands 7 stories high. It truly is  a work of art. 

Everything about this cross intrigues me. This next part is taken from their website. I wanted to copy and paste it so that you could understand every detail of this magnificent cross.

“The Empty Cross”™ is a seven story Cor-ten steel sculpture by artist/evangelist, Max Greiner, Jr. This stunning sculpture was donated to THE COMING KING FOUNDATION by Max and Sherry Greiner, and Monte and Beverly Paddleford, owners of Eagle Bronze Foundry in Lander, WY.  This unique contemporary sculpture was installed on top of a 1930’ hill top above IH-10 on July 27, 2010.
“The Empty Cross”™ is believed to be the most symbolic cross sculpture in the world because of its Biblical symbolism.  The massive open hollow cross symbolizes the Resurrection, the Door, the Narrow Gate, the Strong Tower, the Mighty Fortress and the Light of the World, who is Jesus Christ.  God sees mankind through the cross while mankind can only see the true God by looking at the cross.
The Carbon Steel skeleton of the cross was covered with a Cor-ten steel skin. After scouring by sandblasting, a reddish brown patina was released, symbolizing the shed blood of Jesus Christ.
Biblical numbers are used in the design of“The Empty Cross”™ sculpture.  The $2,000,000 cross measures 77’7 inches tall with a 40’ cross arm. It weighs approximately 70 tons, including the steel in the foundation. The foot print of the cross sculpture is approximately 10’ x 10’ square, like the Holy of Holies.  The interior space is 7’ wide.  Four plaques inside this sacred space explain the scriptural path to salvation, filling of the Holy Spirit, healing and miracles. Thousands of visitors to the cross have been supernaturally touched by God, many claiming life transformation, miracles and divine healing.

The part of the garden that touched me the most was "God's Rock Garden." The garden suddenly appeared at the entrance of the garden not long after it opened. People started writing their prayers on rocks and leaving them. The garden was not planned by man, but a creation of the Holy Spirit. 

Gavin writing out his prayer on a rock

I didn't take pictures in the rock garden, because I didn't feel right doing it. If you would like to see some, here is a link to the webpage.  As I placed my rock, I couldn't help but see some of the heartfelt prayers of others. It moved me to tears. I couldn't read them all. I would have lost it. Some were remembrances of loved ones. Some were pleas for a family member. All you could really do is pray. It was such a touching experience. 

I can say that this is one of my most favorite places I've been in a long time. It is definitely a Holy experience, and I for sure want to go back soon. If you get a chance, take a drive down I10 to Kerrville, TX to see this gem. You won't regret it.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Memory Verse - Week 9 (with link-up)

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. I'm going to be trying something new with the bible verses. I am going to start a link-up so that you can link your own blog to it. I hope you all have a blessed week!

ABC's and Sweet Tea

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Wordless Wednesday...The Empty Cross

Today's picture is taken in Kerrville, Texas at the Coming of the King prayer garden. It's absolutely amazing. I will be making a blog post with more pictures coming up soon. 

For more WW posts or to link up your own blog, click the link below!

Wordless Wednesday at Life at Rossmont

Monday, October 12, 2015

Memory Verse - week 8

Happy Monday everyone! I hope that you had a great weekend. This week we will be concentrating on learning about the power of our tongue! Do the words that come out of your mouth speak life, or do they speak death? I know that it's always been something that I have to really pay attention to! Try speaking only positive for just a day, and then a week, and so on! You will see how much your life changes. If it's only negativity coming out of your mouth then it affects everyone and everything around you! Speak life!!

I hope that you all have a wonderful week ahead!


Saturday, October 10, 2015

A journey of a beautiful smile

I didn't plan on writing a post tonight, but I guess I am writing out of anger and disappointment. It was brought to my attention, through a Facebook support group for cleft moms, that there is some trashy T.V. show called Survivor's Remorse on Starz making fun of children who were born with cleft lip and palate. I honestly thought when I first read it, that it couldn't possibly be. I mean who makes fun of people with birth defects? Are there really people who would write a script for a television show that would make fun of children with a cleft or any children for that matter? I researched further into it until I found the clip. Let me tell you that this wasn't just a joke. This wasn't just a laugh at the expense of these kids. This was an absolute horror to watch. They talked about how these kids were born with (I'm keeping it clean here) "effed" up mouths and they had snaggle teeth. I was so furious and livid that I wanted to contact anyone and everyone who would listen. They were striking a nerve with me because this hits very close to home. My oldest daughter was born with unilateral cleft lip and palate. I'm a mama bear when it comes to my kids so to me they were taking a direct hit at my daughter.

I was 19 years old, a first time mom, and had no clue that my child had anything physically wrong with her. It was a tough pregnancy with a lot of sickness. I had also tried to go into labor with her on numerous times extremely early in my pregnancy. It was not fun. I gained a whopping 16 pounds during that pregnancy. I was so sick, but I knew at the end of the road I would have a beautiful baby girl to hold in my arms. I was on a pill to keep me from going in labor until 37 weeks. At 38 weeks she was ready to come into the world. I had a very long 22 hour labor. She ended up being an emergency c-section due to the fact I wouldn't dilate past 5 cm. It was really par for the course with this pregnancy since there was nothing normal about it. The c-section started out as any other normal one would I suppose. My doctor who I absolutely adored, was singing to his music on the radio as he operated. When I tell him that I hope I'm numb and don't feel anything, he reassures me that I would have since he was already to my uterus. Ha! Another minute or so passed, it seemed like forever, they said we almost have her! All of a sudden, I heard my doctor and the doctor assisting and some of the nurses gasp. I immediately knew something was wrong. I said "WHAT WHAT IS IT??" My doctor leaned over and asked if I had ever heard of cleft lip and palate.  Have I ever heard of it?? Uh yes I have in the Anatomy and Physiology or Health classes I had taken in high school. The pictures they showed were so sad. The clefts were extreme. They took her out, and she wasn't crying. As they worked on my newborn baby, they assured me that she was still beautiful. My doctor and the pediatrician that were in there were amazing. They kept telling me how beautiful and perfect she was. They told me that I could see her for a brief second before they whisked her off to the NICU.  I was scared to look at her. What kind of mother is scared to look at their child?? All I kept thinking is what did I do wrong? How could I have prevented this? As the nurse walked over with her, I could feel the mix of emotions running through me, and then I saw her. What beauty. Until that point, I had never seen something or someone so beautiful in my life. She was a bundle of love with black hair and dark blue eyes. Oh right. She had a cleft. I didn't even see it anymore. She was perfect. Absolutely perfect. They took her away to the NICU while I laid crying on the table that I couldn't hold my baby. I started to go into shock so they decided that it would be best to put me to sleep, so I could rest. Before they did, the pediatrician leaned over me and said, "That little girl is BEAUTIFUL, she is going to be a fox!!" Even though I was scared out of my mind, I also felt a sense of peace fall over me.

Over the next few days, we had so much information thrown at us that it was overwhelming. She had to be fed with a different kind of bottle. We went through so many trials of bottles trying to find a fit for her. Unfortunately breast feeding was out, so I had to pump.  We ended up with the Haberman feeder. It worked best for her.
She had to be held up so that it didn't come out through the hole in the roof of her mouth and out of her nose. She also had a VSD, or hole in her heart. When they told me that I remember just falling into a chair and crying saying that I can't handle anymore! She was in the NICU for 9 days. I had to leave the hospital without my baby. The fact that I had a c-section didn't stop me one bit from staying away from her.  My doctor even ran into me in the hall and got on to me because I was there and not resting. He said at least put your feet up. I never wanted to leave her in the NICU alone. The nurses were wonderful and even though it was against the rules, they let me stay with her all the time except for shift change.  My doctor actually called a patient and asked her to bring her son up to the hospital, who was also born with CL&P, to visit me so that I could see what he looked like after surgeries. It was such a blessing to me at the time. The time finally came and she got to come home with us!! I was so excited!! We got home and she screamed for 23 hours out of 24 in a day... and that 1 hour was broken up over the entire day and night. We learned soon after that she had severe reflux. She was on adult dosages of acid medicine to try and regulate that. I slept in a recliner with her for 9 solid months because it was the only way she could sleep. I am very grateful for my mom who helped me care for her when she wasn't working. It was a very trying time, and I can tell you that it made this 19 year old girl turn into a grown woman over night. I didn't have a choice. I was caring for not only another human who relied on me, but I was taking care of a sick baby that didn't know why she felt so bad.

Sometimes we got a sweet smile through the tears.

We were referred to Texas Children's Hospital shortly after she was born and we made our first appointment when she was just a few weeks old. We ended up with a fantastic craniofacial team that absolutely adored Baylie! They set her surgery for when she was 2 months old. I couldn't wrap my brain around it. They were going to put my tiny little baby to sleep and do her first palate surgery and temporarily pull her lip together. The night before her surgery I was a nervous wreck. She couldn't take a bottle after midnight. Do you know what it's like to withhold food from your screaming 2 month old who doesn't understand WHY you won't feed her. It was awful. I felt helpless and just cried right along with her. We got to the hospital and went through the normal procedures of admitting her etc.  They changed her into a gown, and then from there we waited on the doctors. I can remember the moment they all walked in. I lost it. I begged them to please please take care of my baby, and they assured me they would. I handed her off and said a prayer. It is an awful feeling. Her dad had to pretty much drag me off at that point. It seemed like forever. Finally they came and talked to us after a couple of hours and said she did great. They said that she had arm splints on to keep her from grabbing her face. Here's a picture that was taken shortly after her surgery.

This was the most intense of all the surgeries that she's had so far. Since they worked on the roof of her mouth which consisted of cutting a flap from the good side and basically folding it over to the other, her mouth was raw. Not long after she was in a room, her mouth started bleeding profusely. It totally upset me. It was so much blood. They told me it was normal and they suctioned her and it finally stopped. It happened a few more times, but thankfully not as bad. This hospital stay consisted of almost 2 weeks. I don't remember much of it because I don't think I slept while I was there. She was finally ready to come home and finish her recovery. They scheduled her next surgery for 6 months old, and that was to finish repairing her lip. This surgery wasn't near as bad as the first one. Not fun, but not as hard on her. As excited as I was for this surgery, part of me was sad. I didn't want to lose her perfect smile. After this surgery her lip would be permanently attached and it would for sure change the way she looked. I loved her just the way she was, but of course I knew it had to be done.

You see, having a cleft lip and palate isn't just a harelip as some refer it to. Please don't use the word harelip either. It's offensive. It's not just some cosmetic surgery. It affects how they eat, how they speak, their ears, their sinuses, their teeth etc. On top of the cleft surgeries, Baylie had 3 sets of tubes. Her little ears were infected so many times that she even had an eardrum bust. Baylie had to have braces for 6 years which caused problems with her teeth. She was also born missing teeth. They just never formed. These are just some of the things that they have to endure. She started speech therapy when she was 2 months old!! As she got older they couldn't believe her speech was so good. I credit the speech pathologists that worked with her from the beginning. They did an incredible job with her! Even after all the surgeries she's had, she's not done yet. She still has to have a bone graph and her jaw broken and reset. Let's not even talk about the bullying that she went through. The name calling or the question, "What's wrong with your face?" People can be so cruel. It's not just children either. I had adults...grown adults make faces at her when she was a baby as if she was a monster. I had people accuse me of doing drugs and that it was my fault.

This journey with Baylie has taught me a lot. She taught me how to be a mother. She taught me patience. She taught me a love that I could have never imagined. Baylie is now almost 20 (this month yay) and has a beautiful daughter of her own. My grandbaby was born with NO cleft lip or palate! I am thankful for that! I am writing this post hopefully to encourage someone who may be pregnant with a cleftie, or maybe you have a new baby that was born with a cleft. It isn't an easy road, but you can do it. Just be strong for your babies. Be their voice when they need you to be. Remember, you did NOTHING wrong! I pray that each and everyone that has to endure this or any disability or birth defect that God wraps his arms around you and guides you through it. Remember we are #cleftstrong.


Thursday, October 8, 2015

Homeschool Spirit Week, saving dogs, and taking things apart

Hey everyone! Sorry it's been so long, but we have been busy, and I was sick last week. Well we are now into October my most favorite time of year! We actually had a little cooler weather here in Texas, but nothing to get excited about. We did get to go to the park and hang out a little bit. It was a beautiful day to watch the Air Force planes fly over. We love watching them!

Reason #3253245 that I love homeschool is that the parks are empty. We get it all to ourselves with the occasional fellow homeschoolers that show up too. I love to soak up the sun and laughter while they play, even at 10 and 14. Gavin loves to run around and pretend he's doing parkour, while Edyn will swing or hang out and talk to me. Precious times.

We also celebrated International Homeschool Spirit Week. We didn't get to do everything because I had only remembered it the night before! Yes I need to remember to write things on my calendar! It is always the 4th week in September and they do different themes for every day of the week. Here's a picture of this year's schedule.

So Monday, the kids got up and I told them they could do whatever they wanted to do to their hair. I mean it was Crazy Hair Day! Here's what they came up with!

Edyn decided to spray yellow coloring in her hair and attach all kinds of odds and ends in it. Great job Edyn! Very creative!

Gavin used a combo of hair gel and toothpaste...yes toothpaste. I DID say do whatever you want. Next time I will be more careful lol!

Tuesday was International Day, and we had a lot to go do that day so we didn't get to really participate. Wednesday was Wacky Tacky Day. This was a lot of fun for them. They really got creative on their looks!

So Thursday brings us to Retro Day! I did nothing, they came up with everything themselves! I wanted them to get as creative as they wanted to, and it worked well! Yes he made a cigarette out of Legos. He despises real cigarettes and needed it to finish off the look he said. I'm good with that! I'm not one of these parents that think because he made one fake cigarette out of Legos for one special day that he's doomed himself to smoking for the rest of his life. I also have to note that Edyn did all of her own make-up. She is so good at make-up for only being 14, and self taught!

 I love the added beauty mark! 

Friday was Giving Day and since we didn't have anything planned, we decided that I was going to crochet preemie hats, and send them to the hospital for the preemies there.  I can't wait to do that!

Ok, so while it was Spirit Week we decided to go to the library. We love going to the library to just hang out and find books, or even do our reading there for a change of scenery. Is this just a homeschool thing or a reader thing lol?? We pull up and park, and when we get out of our car there is a nice car parked right next to us. As soon as we were out of the car my daughter noticed that there were two small Yorkies in the car with the windows barely cracked. Here's the problem. We live in Texas. That is exactly 2 miles west of the sun. It was at least 90 degrees outside. Of course we were concerned, but it was like ok we just got here, I don't see anyone around, and maybe she's just running her books inside. I didn't like leaving the little dogs, and my daughter was beside herself, but I didn't want to just jump the gun either. I said, "let's go inside, and if they are still here when we get out, I will call the police." While we were looking for books, my daughter could hardly concentrate. She has such love for animals that she was almost in tears worried about them. I told her we could go ahead and go and check on them. Yep, still there. I looked at the time and it had been about 30 minutes. I really honestly thought that whoever owned the car would have been back by then. It's HOT outside...don't they have common sense?? No.  I jump in the car and call the non emergency police number since that's what they say you should do.
They transfer me to Animal Control and tell me that they would get someone out there. I have to give them kudos because within 2 or 3 minutes not only did one truck pull up, but 2.  After they got there they immediately checked the inside temperature of the car. You would think that they would start busting out windows, but they don't. They figured the owner was inside the library, but it still took them another 30 minutes to find her. Other people were watching by now waiting to see what happened. Finally she comes out and has the audacity to be upset!! We were in our car, parked down a little bit because honestly it's a crazy world and I didn't want her doing something in front of my kids. They ordered her to open the door, and she ended up getting a ticket I guess. They gave her paperwork, but it took what seemed like forever for them to let her go. We had a great lesson that day on what it means to speak up for animals that can't defend themselves. When we had gotten in our car from being in the library for 30 minutes...ONLY 30 minutes it was stifling hot in there. I asked them if they could imagine being stuck in there panting and barking for help like these poor dogs. They completely understood how crucial it is to not leave animals OR kids for sure inside of an automobile. It doesn't matter how "cool" you think it is outside, the heat in a vehicle, even with the windows cracked is too much for them. If you have to go somewhere, please leave your pets at home.

Last but not least, Gavin found an old cell phone that he wanted to take apart. I am all about discovery.

I honestly wish I could embrace the unschooling methods more. I have let go a lot, but there are some things that I just can't let go of, like math. Also, I want my kids to have an understanding of history. So instead of the plain old text book method, we decided to read stories on history, and learn that way. We also watch a lot of videos about it. This old cell phone discovery, has opened up an entire new way of learning for him. I think we are going to try and make a "Take it Apart" box. We will collect old things at thrift stores etc, and throw them in the box. I will allow the kids to take them apart and discover what makes them. He is really looking forward to finding an old radio! I will keep you updated on what we find!

Well we are about done with another week here at Anchor Academy. It has been a week of learning about Benjamin Franklin and the human body. They are really loving learning about what makes them up! I hope everyone has a great weekend coming up!