Saturday, December 12, 2009

First tooth gone

Jacob lost his first tooth on Wednesday. It has been loose for about a month. We could not get him to play with it enough to get it out. He was afraid of the pain. Well Wednesday afternoon he bit into an apple and low and behold the tooth was ready to be pulled out. No crying no pain just out it came. He is ready for the next one to be loose now. The tooth fairy visited and made his day.

We had snow twice last week. Just thought you would like to see a picture of the full moon with the snow behind it on the mountain. We don't have this kind of scene very often here. I saw this on the way to praise band. It was much prettier when you get past the trees. This was the view from out our side door.
Have a blessed week in God's grace.
PS We have sitters today to finish up that Christmas shopping. WHOO HOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Nativities and Snow Days

Shirley and the kids painted an American Indian Nativity Scene on Sunday afternoon. They all really enjoyed painting them. Here are some pictures that show the process. Shirley finished them on Monday and bronzed them. They are just beautiful. I need to take a picture of the finished product and download it. Sorry I don't have that today.

Here are some pictures of our December 1st snow storm. The kids didn't go to school until two hours late this morning, so I let them play in the snow before school. I knew that the snow would be gone this afternoon. I was right it is gone. They had a great time.

Dad watches over the snowman building.

Alyssa makes a huge snow ball.

Jaryd carries the snowman's head.

Some of the property

Kailyn and Jacob throwing snow balls.

Alyssa is chasing Jacob with a snow ball.

Kailyn just got hit with a snow ball. She is not
a happy camper. She was through.

Alyssa and Jacob starting to play. Burt watches
over them.

The snow man.

Have a blessed week.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Jacob 's Birthday

Okay so I am a bad mom blogger. I am just now getting around to getting Jacob's birthday pictures posted. Sorry for the delay. He had a wonderful day. We will be celebrating Thanksgiving with all the kids home and my dad is coming. We also have our beloved friend Shirley living with us now. What a blessing she is to our family.

The Birthday boy

Buzz Lightyear cake

The Party Crew

More Pizza
A little miniature Golf with the Crew
We are working on changing Kailyn's medicine again. She is seemingly doing a little better on this dosage. She was using all of her time released medicine up in the morning. So we are doing short acting three times a day. Seems a little better.
Alyssa is doing well.
Jaryd is counting down the days until his birthday. He can't wait.
Have a blessed Thanksgiving.
The Huckabee's

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Here is a picture of the kids the day before we went to the zoo for the Halloween party. That was fun. We spent Halloween at the UTEP football game and then on to the church for our annual Light Shine Trunk or Treat. We celebrated Kevin's birthday on Sunday evening with steaks and a German Chocolate cake. The kids seemed to enjoy all of them.
Everyone is doing well. Kailyn and I are home tonight from church because she is running a low grade fever. Can't be to careful. Don't want to infect anyone. I do think that she has a UTI. So we will probably see the doctor tomorrow for some more antibiotics. I have scheduled an appointment with the Urologist for her, but they can't see her until December 29th. Wow! It is so hard to get in to the specialists. I am going to see if the Pediatrician can get us anything sooner.
Have a blessed week. Talk to you guys again soon. Watch out for the Flu.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Exiciting and Emotional

We have been very busy since my last post. We spent a week in Pagosa Springs, CO for the kids fall break. The colors of fall were just beautiful there. We took the train from Durango to Silverton. Of which Jaryd said that was the most boring thing he had done. Makes me not want to plan any more vacations. So needless to say we were a little frustrated with the whole trip. The condo was beautiful and we were right on the lake. The kids got to experience fishing for the first time. Dad had a great time teaching them the ropes. They could have just spent time fishing. They didn't care if we did anything else.

Kailyn ended up in the emergency room on Monday morning in Pagosa. She was running a fever and had a cough that sounded like croup. After about an hour the doctor said it was just viral, continue what I was doing and sent us home. She improved every day after that. I was afraid that she would go into pnuemonia, so that is why that I went to the ER. Better safe than sorry.

Reports card came out this week and we were very pleased with all the results. Everyone seems to be doing really well in school. Alyssa had two weeks off for fall break, so she was home again this week. We had some good alone time with her. Although she really like to have her siblings around. She is definately happy about their prescence.

We have been fighting a battle with Kailyn on her eating. We decided on Monday after days of mom crying that we were going to just let her eat what she wants. No more focusing on the closing of her mouth and continual badgering to eat. So that was the plan on Monday. Well Tuesday morning she got up in her little funk that she has. She has a lot of crankiness and then she starts vomiting and has diarehea. The doctor seems to think that she has some kind of insulin problem when she starts this. So the day of not making her eat caused her to bottom out the next morning. So that didn't seem to work. We have decided that we are just going to give her the amount of food on her plate that she should eat and then she will have to sit there until it is gone. No prodding just a gentle reminder before she gets up that she will have to clean her plate. We can't have her bottoming out on her sugar. Thursday night she actually finished her food before Jacob. So maybe we are making some progress. I have to say I have to have some relief. I cannot live having such a battle at every meal. One year of this has taken it's toll on mom. So pray that things will continue to get better. She is having a power struggle with us, and we have to stand firm.

Nana gave Kevin and I a day off yesterday. She kept the girls and then picked up the boys when they got out of school. Kevin and I went to lunch at PeiWei, then to the phone store to get my phone fixed, then to the nail salon for nails and a pedicure, and then to the movies to see Couples Retreat. What an awesome renewal day. Boy did we need it. Kevin even got a pedicure and did some shopping at Sears tool department. His favorite thing to do.

Here are a few pictures from our trip.

Teaching them how to cast.

Fishing for Jaryd, Jacob, and Alyssa
Not Kailyn's thing.

Stringer of Fish for our Fishermen and Women

Our bored train riders

A view from the train ride.

Notice the Rainbow

View from our Balcony

Our Condo

Have a blessed week. We will be busy as we have Halloween and Kevin's birthday on the same day.


Saturday, October 3, 2009

Kailyn celebrated her 4th birthday last Saturday. I have been so busy this week that I didn't get to post anything since. Here are some pictures from last year's birthday and this year's birthday. What a wonderful change she has made.
It is hard sometimes to see the change day to day, but this is an amazing change. Now that we seem to have all the infections cleared up in her body, we hope that she will start to gain. We would really like for her to get a little weight on before we give her the growth hormones. I am afraid if she goes up any she will really look like a bean pole. I have spent the last week remaking all her pants so that she can keep them up. It wasn't so bad this summer, I could guy six month shorts and they were okay because they were shorts, but that won't work with pants. She looks like she has on high waters if I don't get her 2T. But, they are so big in the waist. So we are now ready for winter. I hope that the pants that I fixed don't last long. That will mean that she is gaining some weight.
All the rest of us seem to be doing well. Will post more later.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Positive Results

We got a call from the doctor last night and Kailyn does have Turner's Syndrome. So now we will start the treatment for growth Hormones. She will not need anything else for about 8 more years. We will also have an ecocardiogram on Kailyn. Turner's Syndrome patients tend to have heart problems.


Sunday, September 13, 2009

A Little more news

I haven't posted in awhile. Just can't seem to sit long enough to think about posting.

We had teacher conferences this week and he is doing wonderfully in school. Last year I was the spelling natzi. We would practice words all the way to school every morning. He didn't seem to want to let me do that this year, so I told him that if he made good grades on his spelling test that I would leave him alone. Well, since the beginning of the year we haven't seen any spelling tests. So when I visited with his teacher this week I asked how he was doing. He has all 100 and only on 93. So I told him as along as he continued to do this well on his own, I would allow him to continue his method of studying. Pretty good for a kid who didn't speak any English a year ago. He is also doing really well in all of his classes. He is a math whiz. He is healthy and continuing to do well on his medication. We have those morning with pre-medication and the late evenings that tend to give us all a headache. But, we are trying to teach him to manage these times by himself.

He had his eye surgery and did really well. They did over medicate him with anesthesia and we had a rough day until that was out of his system. But, the surgery went perfectly. He is doing well in school. I don't think he is quite where he should be so we are going to do tutoring after school two days a week. We will see how this goes. If he doesn't make any progress we will take him out and try some private tutoring. That seemed to work the best to get Jaryd off on the right foot. Jacob has been diagnosed with Asperger's. So we are learning all of the ins and outs of that. I dont' remember if I have posted about this before or not. It is a little hard to remember what you have done when you have four running around. He only has a mild case of Asperger's and is managing very well.

She is loving school. We also had a teacher's conference with her teacher. The teacher said her only complaint about Alyssa is that she is too sweet. It seems as if one of the little boys has been picking on everyone and Alyssa is too kind to tell her to leave her alone. The teacher said she needed to be a little more stern with him. So I have given her permission to tell him not to touch her. He seem to want to touch everyone all day. They administered a test at the beginning of the year to see where she was. On some of the tests she seemed to be at the 10 year old level. I am not surprised. She has been grown up since she was 1.

We have had a few more ups and downs with her. She was diagnosed last week with H Pylori. That is the infection in the stomach that causes Ulcers. We are doing the two week treatment and that seem to be clearing up. They said she had had it for a long time. The only way to find this out is with the biopsy. So that is what the results of the biopsy were. Then we took her to the Pediatric Endocrinologist later that week. He thinks, no a definite diagnosis yet, that she has Turner's Syndrome ( You can click on the pink link and read about the diagnosis. We will know more in a few weeks when the results of the DNA testing comes back. If so she will have quite a long road to hoe over the next few years. But, with any luck she can begin to grow with the help of some Growth Hormones. We do not see this as a setback, but as a way to help her move on with her life. Hopefully after the H Pylori is dead in her body we can get her to gain some weight. She is also doing well in school. Her teacher said she has changed greatly since last year.

We have had a great year. Can't believe that next weekend will be one year home. We will try to post more later. Have a great week.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Family for One Year

It has been an emotional year. Some days are beautiful and some days you look around and wonder what in the world have we done. We always hold on to the faith that this was God's plan. I must admit the bad days are beginning to slow down. We are still in the midst of doctor's appointments and medical procedures. But, we didn't think these would things would go quickly. It requires time to see what all needs to be fixed. We are finished with all of Jaryd's health issues. There is nothing wrong with him now that we had his tonsils taken out. Jacob will always have to deal with the Asperger's, but hopefully he will continue to learn to cope with that in time. We are finally learning how to deal better with his melt-downs. Kailyn still has some kind of problem, we think, with her food processing. Hopefully in the next coupld of weeks will have some answers for this. She is still not gaining any weight. In fact, she has lost about a 1/2 a pound again. So we are still just kind of in the midst of normal kid health issues. We just never had four of them in the house at one time before. Seems as though we are always going to doctor's apopintments.

The kids have adjusted to being Americans very well. Jacob saw a picture of the Ukraine the other day and said, "I think I have been there before." Now you know why we call him airhead some days. We are such a world away from being in that country. Some day I hope that we can go back there and visit and take things to help both of the orphanages that gave us our children. Some days I wonder if their mother still wonders where they are. Does she care? Is she still alive? Where are their fathers? Do they wonder about their children?

We thank God that he gave us these children to incorporate into our family. While singing in praise band on Sunday I looked into the audience to see my three oldest children and my son's wife(my other daughter) to just smile at God's Awesome love for Kevin and I. Jaryd, Jacob and Kailyn fit in so well with all of the kids.

Jaryd was talking this morning before school and couldn't remember how to say any words in Ukranian. He says that he can understand it, he just can't speak it.

Happy "Family Day"

Pretty amazing when you go from three kids to six in just two hours time. I wish pregnancy and labor could have gone that fast. I probably would have had twenty kids in that case. Oh wait, not, I don't think so. Where has my sanity gone. Six is enough. We will wait for grand kids now. Hopefully that will be a few more years.

Thanks to everyone who has helped this been such a fantastic year in our lives and our childrens lives. thanks for all the bloggers who have helped us through times we didn't think we could make it through.

Here are some pictures, before and after.

Add Image

Monday, August 24, 2009

Here is an article that the El Paso Times published today about Adoption. We were one of the families featured and this is the family picture that they took.
EL PASO -- Callers to Children's Connection in Lubbock are a little different from those of just a few years ago.
Inquiries about adopting children from foreign countries largely have become calls asking how to adopt children from Texas or elsewhere in the United States.
"Economics really does play a role in adoption," said Debora Phillips, adoption director for the state for Children's Connection. The nonprofit organization helps connect prospective parents with adoption agencies and helps them through the adoption process.
"We're seeing people that are still pursuing adoption plans, but maybe their interests are changing. Maybe they're not going to the most expensive option they might have gone to a year or two ago," she said.
She said others think adoption costs are now simply too high to allow them to expand their families.
"It's really expensive," Phillips said.
In Texas the method of the adoptive parents picking up a new baby from the hospital just after its birth can cost between $20,000 and $40,000.
Parents who want to adopt an orphan from another country can spend between $20,000 and $45,000, she said.
Domestic adoptions, including older children in the nation's foster care system, can cost from a few thousand dollars up to about $20,000.
Phillips said there's been an increase in the number of people interested in adopting children waiting in Texas or other states.
She said of all El Paso callers to her organization in 2008, about one third wanted domestic infant adoption, one third wanted international adoptions and another quarter were interested in waiting child adoptions. The remainder were interested in kinship adoption.
She said so far in 2009, interest in international adoption has decreased to about 14 percent among callers from El Paso. Interest in waiting child adoption increased from 25 percent to about 43 percent, and domestic infant adoption also increased to about 43 percent.
Firm statistics on the number of adoptions in El Paso or Texas were not available because courts immediately seal adoption records.
Those who want to adopt children from within Texas must first foster the children in their homes.
"If you go the foster-to-adopt method through Texas you might have a four- or five-year window to adopt and all you will pay for is the cost for the final hearing," Phillips said.
Adopting from other states will include paying for a home study. Some states pick up the costs for post placement visits, supervision during a trial period and final adoption costs.
She said a federal adoption tax credit also helps ease the financial burden for families. The military and some large companies offer a slight reimbursement for adoption costs.
The decreased costs for domestic adoptions are a big reason people are choosing that route. Changes in some international adoption rules have made it more difficult to adopt children from countries such as Mexico.
Phillips said she expected more people to again opt for international adoption as the economy improves and knowledge of the new international rules spreads.
Her agency has helped several El Paso families through the adoption process, including Tammy and Kevin Huckabee.
When Tammy Huckabee saw the photo of a small girl with blond hair and wide eyes among dozens of other Ukrainian orphans, she knew she had found her daughter.
The couple already had three children of their own, including a 3-year-old daughter at home.
"We realized our family still wasn't finished," she said.
Tammy Huckabee said she'd always felt there were supposed to be more children in her family. She and her husband tried to adopt more than a decade before, but the Mexico adoption of twin boys fell through.
After their daughter Alyssa was born several years later, they still felt their family had room to grow.
They contacted an adoption agency in 2006 and were recommended to look to the Ukraine to adopt because children there were more likely to share their physical features.
Nearly two years later, the Huckabees were in the Ukraine, looking through photos of available children.
The little girl with the big eyes was 2-year-old Yana. She and her two older brothers, Igor and Illya, were waiting for a family at Ukrainian orphanages. They are now 3, 5 and 9 years old.
The Huckabees couldn't resist.
Six weeks later, the children were in America with a new family and new names: Kailyn, Jacob and Jared Elijah.
They've learned English and love to romp around their Santa Teresa home with one another.
"It's like they were always with us," Tammy Huckabee said.
The couple said it's important that parents do their research before beginning the process.
Priscilla Aguilar checked everything out before she began the process that would bring her Ilker, a young Russian boy.
Ilker, 3, became her son last October.
"I just wanted to be a mom. I'm 32 and I'm not in a couple and I didn't think I had to wait to have a son," she said.
She opted to adopt from Russia because there were fewer restrictions placed on adoptions to single women.
She was placed on a waiting list for an infant in September 2007. Early the next year she changed her age limit to two years old and received a call two weeks later that a boy was waiting for her.
She was sent a photo of Ilker.
"The second I saw him I said he's mine," Aguilar said.
She underwent home studies and finished the required paperwork and visited Russia a total of three times before the adoption took place in October.
"They try to designate a child that goes with your personality, so I guess I described myself as pretty active," the lawyer said as Ilker buzzed around the room and clamored for her attention.
She said she saved to pay for the adoption costs, but the entire process was worth it.
"Being a mother is better than I ever thought," she said.
She recommended that prospective parents be patient through the process and reach out to others who have been there.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Where we were a year ago

One year ago today we were doing the Ground Hog thing visiting our new beautiful children every day. Our air conditioning went out on our side of the house on Thursday night and Kevin said to me as the wind was blowing through the windows, "Feels like we are back in Ukraine." It has been a year of ups and downs and many lessions learned. Months ago I thought the year mark would never come. I kept thinking if a year would get here all of the problems should be gone by them. Oh, how wrong could I be. But, the problems are beginning to just be the problems of normal children, not orphans. God has brought us through this year and will continue to follow us through the many years to come with our new children. Daily we learn life lessons that teach us more and more how to be a family. And, our children learn more and more how to be siblings and family members. I would like for the empathy level to be a little higher, but I supposed that will come too.

This has been a busy week at our house with Mom being sick all week with a summer cold. Everyone ran a little fever last weekend. So we had a very quiet at home weekend. Alyssa and I are the only ones who ended up with the runny nose. Kailyn seems to be trying to come down with it today. I hope we can fend it off. She is going to have her ears cleaned on Tuesday and they are going to put her under to do it. They won't do it if she is sick.

Jacob and Kailyn started school on Monday and all was well. I will post pictures from their day soon. Jacob asked me on Monday night, "Do I get to do that every day?". To which I replied yes son five days a week. Kailyn has her same teachers from last year. She has been a little quiet, but I think it is because she is with all new kids. She will come out of her shell as soon as she gets a little more comfortable.

Kailyn had her endoscopy on Tuesday. They didn't see anything, but they didn't expect to. They are looking at the pathology from the biopsy from the small intestine. They are now thinking that she is having an absorption problem. Sunday night I was watching Discovery Health Network and saw a show about Schwaubman Diamond Syndrome. I won't bore you with the specifics, but we are looking into this as a possiblity for Kailyn. The doctor said he will do some more checking. This biopsy is a good test for this Syndrome. Has anyone out there had to deal with this SDS before? The first picture is befor the procedure. The second picture is after they had to give her medication for nausea because they over medicated her for the procedure. She was out like a light again. The third picture is the wheel chair on the way out and the fourth one is her in the car seat. She played with that blue hat all day long when she got home.

We had Open House on Thursday night and Jaryd's teacher and I got a few minutes to talk. She says he could easily be ready to go to 4th grade next year. She is going to help me at school and I am going to work at home to get him through the 3rd grade this year. He is attending the 2nd grade and we are going to do 3rd from home simultaneously.

Alyssa has been studying insects for the last couple of weeks. She has a new insect every day that she comes home and talks about. She was made to go to school. She loves it.

Kevin found out this week that along with all his other problems he has pretty severe sleep aphnea. He tried to use the machine, but was unable to tolerate it. They are working on trying a dental appliance. Please keep him in your prayers.

Have a blessed week.