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We are glad you stopped by, we hope you are blessed, and enjoy your stay. We discuss a little bit of everthing here, from homeschool, parenting, adoption, farming, our faith, and our plain lifestyle. May God Bless Your Day!!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Serenity? or CRISIS!!!!

WHEW, just trying to catch my breath, and realizing it has been so long since we updated anyone on what life has been like around here!
I would like to be writing long, eloquent posts about how WONDERFUL life is on our little farm, and how quaint, quiet, and peaceful it is....
that is not our life.
I am one super-stressed out mama, trying to figure out how to mesh personalities, emotional, mental and physical differences and call it FAMILY!!!
SO far, it has not been good, and we are barely surviving.
We have spent most of the past 6 months in crisis mode, and while I feel I have been reeling from crises for the past 6-7 years, there have been some very REAL challenges the past few months that have left me empty, black circles under my eyes, an ache in my heart for dreams lost, and emotions so overloaded that I don't know a good day from a bad one anymore, they all run together, and they usually aren't very good.
Life is about surviving a crisis EVERY DAY!!!
The emotional crises that drive a person to their knees, or else makes you bitter and hard, and I have been heavy into bitter and hard lately.
The dream of farming along our children has not taken the route we had hoped for, as there just isn't enough of any of us to go around to do everything that needs doing.
Marriage woes, older child worries, young child issues, financial concerns, and you add it all up, and one would have to wonder, WHAT HAVE WE DONE????
Years of adoptions, selling farms, and moving have taken their toll on our pocket book, our emotions, and our physical and mental strength.
I have read that many marriages don't survive all the crises that we have been thru, and while we are holding on, and knowing God has better in mind for us, how to get there is unfathomable at the moment.
God seems distant, older youth are growing distant, newer additions are constantly adding challenges, most recently, continuous MAD cycles, where EVERYTHING makes her mad, and now she is mad at God for bringing her here from China.
The anger, somberness, orneriness, and lashing out at the little ones has us quite concerned.
The emotional peaks and valleys she goes thru are mind boggling to a parent, much less a sibling.
Then, there are the non-verbals, and how they interact, and how they seek attention, and how they DEMAND attention, in the midst of a crisis.
This is not a nice post to write, and it has not been a nice life to live.
This is not how we dreamed it would be.
But, this is our life right now, and boy, I want OFF!
I am venting, in hopes of getting some clarity as I write. Keeping it all inside has been a KILLER to my mind and heart this summer. But who do you talk to, when no one close has been thru anything like this?
I scour blogs looking for hope, for ideas, for inspiration.
yet, time is so limited, resources are quite minimal at the time, and desire is sorely lacking, as I have seemed to settle into a complacency that is kind of scarey-or maybe its got a medical term like anxiety or depression, neither of which I really want to deal with either.
I do know who is in charge, and I know He has a bigger plan, but how to get there from here is beyond the scope of my understanding.
Will you stand in the gap for us?
Will you pray?
Will you offer wisdom if you are btdt??
We are a family in CRISIS,  hurting, wanting more, but not knowing how to get it!
Thanks for listening.
Much Love

Friday, August 2, 2013

Summer happenings on the farm

 This is PRICELESS!!!!What we have been waiting for for 8 years!!!
Is there anything cuter than a jersey calf? and then, 2 of them???
We really like our barn

It sure feels good to be able to write, ON THE FARM!!!
We are loving dairying again, altho it is a LOT OF HARD WORK, and we are tired every single night!
But, it is a good tired, and we will take TIRED, over not sleeping because we aren't doing enough with our days to get tired:)-BTDT!!!
Settling into a new home has proven to have lots of challenges with challenged children-as I should have been more prepared for,(and was too optimistic for my own good) but it is progressing well.
We would do anything to have a Grandma around the corner to help out with the littles during the day, and even tho we have tried help from some older girls at church, when you have children with attachment issues, suffice it to say, in-home help won't be continuing around here any time soon.
There is always plenty to do around here, but 2 big projects we accomplished this summer include a new set of canning shelves built by my Dad and Nick, and our Rainbow playset purchased on Craigslist which was dismantled, moved across the state, and re-erected in our yard by the help of 2 other families:)
We are slowly but surely getting the yard/house/barn put together the way we want it, altho there will be some projects that will be waiting for a long time.
Haying season has been here, amidst a very rainy April, May and June.
We curtailed a large garden this year, I just don't have the energy or stamina, or childcare, to do a big garden justice, altho we are getting flowerbeds in place, much to my enjoyment:)
The kiddos are loving their big yard, the sloping driveway gives Lili and Tyler lots of space to fly on their bikes, Isaiah is doing very well with pedaling his trikes, and wants desperately to ride a bigger bike-maybe next year-
Isaac is still a tiny turbo-terror on 2 short legs, and is gone in the blink of an eye, is into everything, and screams loudly whenever someone tries to stop him.
Nick and Kendell handle all the everning chores, as Dad is still working off the farm, and Rose smiles(most of the time) thru her dishes, laundry, and chasing Isaac. She is not fond of chickens, altho collecting eggs is on her job list too. She prefers to shovel poop or cornsilage, and likes to spend time on the swings too!
There is so much more to say, and I will really try to be more faithful in blogging-
Life has not been easy this spring and summer, and those in the older child adoption world will understand, it ain't all roses,in fact, really, we have been in CRISIS mode most of the summer, which is a step BELOW survival-- but that is for another day.
I will post a few pics of some of the happenings around here, hopefully enough to draw you back-I know I have a few faithful friends who keep checking, hoping for updates-thanks for the emails to encourage me and push me to do a brief update, I promise=there will be more!!

Chris for all 9 of us!!!
SOOOO nice to have this in our own yard now
I so enjoyed watching them work together
what a great team they make
the finished product-good thing I don't need to can anything much this year:)

too cute-they heard the kids take off in the Gator, and were MAD they missed out

 can you say, "ARE YOU CRAZY?? 4 DOGS???"
just a super cute picture of Zaya-he is growing and really filling out
Little Isaac-he's not too sure about the calves, and they aren't too sure of him either-and rightfully so:)

Tyler-he loves tractors, gators, fast bikes, anything that MOVES!!!!
moving our chicken house home-finally!!!
 Good Bye Gross Valley Lane
 watching the chicken house come home
Happy Daddy's Day!!!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

First day of spring???or maybe NOT!!!!

I don't think it's looking much like spring around here...
Or FEELING like it, with -15 wind chills Wednesday morning, and temps hardly reached the mid teens-boy, winter just does not want to let go this year.
We are all ready for some warmer weather, and green grass again.
Buying a farm, and moving in the winter has made this feel like the longest winter on record for the Waughtals, and we have had more snow since we started moving than we had all last winter all together:)
Hopefully, it is a huge help to the ground water, drought conditions we have experienced in the past 12 months, but for the morale...not so good!!!
WE MOVED!!!!!!!
I don't have any good pictures yet of the whole place, but this is the view out my kitchen door-a few weeks ago, before the last series of snow storms:)
And the house pictures I found, I am so glad Kendell took some of our moving process, because I have been so busy doing the move, unpacking, etc, that using a camera has been the last thing on my mind.

They are very accurate as to the mess we lived in while moving-boxes, and stuff, EVERYWHERE...and still, it just felt more roomy, and definitely lighter than where we were before.
AND, the children managed to settle in and dig out some of their toys and found ample places to sprawl out and enjoy each other while they began the "getting to know you" time of their new home.

I am amazed, in looking back, how far we have come in 1 month.
The house DOES look more homey now, less cluttered, and more organized, and there is a full basement, that we completely remodeled and finished off, that is our main "holding tank" for stuff that still needs a home, but our hope is that it will be the main play area once we have shelves up and "STUFF" is off the floor, and out of Isaac's path of destruction.
While there is still "little boy" mess in here, it seems so much more manageable when it isn't right around me and under me ALL the time. I feel I have more space to move, more space to put things, and THEY have much more space to play and push trucks, and ride trikes, and wear off energy than we had in 1 little room where we all were, ALL the time.
The next 2 pictures were our "temporary" sleeping quarters, while we waited for the 2 bedrooms to be complete.
The girls slept on mattresses on the floor in Kendell's room, and the boys slept on mattresses on the office floor.

They are all in their own beds now, but we don't have any pics of that yet-maybe Kendell will find some time soon???
It was all pretty cozy for awhile, but it sure beat the driving from 1 farm to another to milk the cows, and then going back after chores to fix meals and be mama.
Our cows have been here for over 6 weeks now.
We pieced a herd of 33 cows together from several sources, and while they aren't all going to make it thru the long haul, they are a good starting point, and they are putting milk in the tank, thus there IS a milk check coming in 2x a month:)
AND, we love having cows again.

We really ARE farmers at heart, as we just really love having cattle around again, and my 2 14 yr olds just love having the responsibility of milking each evening.
Things are going very well in the barn, and the increased activity level has been very good for Mama and Daddy's bodies too-WOW-pounds really drop, and muscles develop again, and THAT feels soooo good-so, an added BONUS to all the hard work that goes into making a farm work:)

We have mostly Black and White Holsteins-they make a lot of milk, and are easy to come by...

We have 1 Red and White Holstein-she is a favorite of Kendell's and Dad's, and we will try to find a few more...

We have 4 Jerseys, and we really like them-they are so little, and give such rich milk
and they come in different colors too...

She is SOOO dark compared to the lighter one above-can you tell we like variety??
and then, we have our beloved Brown Swiss...the breed we began farming with18 years ago, they are still my favorite...:)

Overall, I have to say, the adjustment has gone very well.
We had some grieving issues with Isaiah and Lili-they both really seemed to have some issues after the move, much like when we brought them home.
Isaac was soooo aware of what was going on, if Kendell would say, "do you want to go home?" he would get alll excited, clap his hands, and go running for his shoes.
He recognizes the road we turned onto each trip between farms, and he complains when we go past it now on our way into town-so cute, and so impressive that he is aware and comprehends-if only he had some words to express himself....
Actually the 3 little ones all recognize the roads, and they all have a bit of a time when we drive by our turn-off road-we are only 15 minutes away from the other farm, so we made that trip MANY times in the 2 months we took to move and start milking cows there, and while we always said, we are going to the "NEW" home, and they always got excited to GO, now that we STAY, it brings issues, and loss, and we have had to dig deep for added measures of grace in the midst of our physical tiredness and emotional stress to help them adjust.
Rose seems to have taken it all in stride. She likes the newness of the new house, and she doesn't seem too shook up about the move-sadly, I think it indicates HOW MANY times in her young life she has been moved from place to place.
Tyler misses all the adventure of the 136 acre farm-the bluff, the creek, the spring, and all the places we had to ride our Gator, yet he is very happy for spring to eventually get here so they can fully explore the land around here. Though we only have 20 acres, there is lots of woodland around us, and I think once we get to know the neighbors, there will be plenty of land for them to ride on, go for hikes, and hunt for all their treasures.
BUT, he loves being outside and helping with the chores, even though he is probably more tired than he has ever been before.
Nick and Kendell have varied responsibilites outside, and though I miss Kendell's help with the littles, she is LOVING being outside with the cows, and has new interest in bloodlines, breeding info, and the record-keeping side of the herd that I think will be a real blessing as she learns how to do some of the bookwork that goes along with owning cows.
Nick is really handling his work well, and loves the variety of things he does each day. He handles much of the feeding, bedding, etc... as Daddy still holds down a job and is not here every day.
I had better close for now, as it is chore time, and I need to get outside.
As I have been writing this post, it has reminded me, again, of why I do this-it is such a great way to keep a record of the things that go on in our lives, and such a great visual reminder of our lives, our famiy, and our home.
I NEED to do this more often-but my, the time issue...
Chris, for all 9 of us

Sunday, January 20, 2013


Where does the time go?
I can't believe we have reached the mark of our first anniversary HOME with our family of 9!!
Today, when we should be in church, and 5 of us have a flu bug, maybe the dreaded influenza, but it gives me time to ponder a bit and remember what was going on 1 year ago.
All month, I have been remembering where we were 1 year ago, what we were thinking, how we were feeling while in China, and now that we are HOME for 1 year, I think it is time for a NEW beginning.
Rose and Lili have been thru SO much in the last year.
EVERYONE has been thru a lot. And it hasn't all been sweet or fun.
There have been so many days of despairing, of disagreements, of disappointments.... YET, thru it all, we have seen how sweet it can be when we are all clicking and things are going well.
There HAVE been good days, in fact good weeks. There have been lots of smiles, giggles, sharing, learning, loving, and bonding.
There have been moments when we see, AHA, it WILL work out some day.
What I need to keep in mind, is that what I expected, and what is reality, do not mesh, and I NEED TO ADJUST my expectations.
Reality is not THAT horrible.
It is not unliveable.
It is not unbearable.
It is just hard, BUT whoever promised me a simple life?
Who ever said parenting 7 children would be easy?
Who said parenting 7 children, 4 with special needs, would be a storybook fantasy?
I have been doing some real soul-searching lately, and while I still lose patience, and want things easier, I am trying to have a better attitude, and realize, its really not about me, or the family we were 2 years ago. Its about who we are now, and what Jesus is trying to do thru us and with us and for us.
Rose really enjoys days when life is predictable, and she knows what will be happening. When she can get up, dress, make the beds, and come down and help in the kitchen, without lots of rushing and being pushed because we are headed out the door for some unknown reason, she has a lot better day.
SCHEDULE is crucial for Rose.
She likes routine, and she likes doing things the same every day.
When we upset her routine, she does not do well.
SOOO, we need to work harder at having a better schedule, and FOLLOWING it.
WHICH, while we are moving, will be a challenge, but hopefully we can keep our eyes on the end result, a new farm, a new house, more space, and we can all work towards that, and keep our attitudes in check, even in the midst of the flu bug.
Lili is doing very well lately.
She ADORES her daddy, and needs a ceratin amount of time snuggling with  him, holding his hand while he was sick, sitting beside him by the parlor stove, anything.
She has been trying very hard to be a good sister to Isaiah and Isaac, and seems to really want to help with little chores with Isaac.
She loves being outside, but chores, especially egg chores, are not good for her unsupervised. We usualy end up with scrambled eggs when she is collecting eggs:)
Her speech is really not doing very well tho, and tho her comprehension seems pretty good most days, there are days, when I am sure she does not understand a thing we have said.
She has this horribly nasal speech, and many sounds are just about impossible for her to even try.
She loves the one on one time of speech therapy, and we have nick-named her little sarge, as she certainly likes to be in charge-even with the speech pathologist-who loves her anyway, and is always eager to praise her and tell me how hard she has worked during her session.

I often wonder what the next year will bring for the girls.
Moving must be unsettling to them, yet neither has the words to express what may be going on in their minds and hearts.
YET, we have such hope that more space, and more time working as a family for chores, and more school time will make a difference for everyone.

There have been times in the past year when I honestly felt like, "why did we do this!!"
YET, today, I have peace, and I know that I would have done it all over again, even knowing how hard some days are, how the emotional battles and behavioral battles can be sooo draining and frustrating, how the lack of communication skills for BOTH girls can hugely impact the family dynamics.
I really need to keep MY focus on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who put our feet on this path, and who WILL give us all the grace and strength and wisdom that we need to make this family a cohesive unit.
Satan is dead-set against adoption.
We know he hates it when the fatherless find forever homes.
SO, we know he has been having a lot of fun with our family in the past 6 months, as we have been wallowing in pain and pity and despair, instead of looking up and claiming VICTORY!!!
I will always be brutally honest about older child adoption-IT IS NOT EASY!!
BUT, I will always stand behind the decision we made to follow Jesus and do it-it's like marriage, thru thick and thin, good and bad, sickness and health, we will survive, and be the better for it someday down the road!!
We are hunkering down for the arctic blast that is headed our way tonight-windchills of -35 are expected for up to 3 days-sounds like some good nights for snuggling, reading, and loving on our children-can't even think of moving on days like this, its all we can do to stay warm, and do the simple chores we have around here right now, and pray no one else gets the BUG!!!
Blessings to each of you
Chris, for all 9 of us
one year ago on gotcha day!!
gathering to sing Happy Birthday to Daddy via the web

from the lobby in our first hotel in Guiyang
I think they have all grown up a bit since last year!!!
Blogger is not letting me upload any new pictures tonight, so these will have to suffice for a quick snapshot of where we were 1 year ago!!!