A Super-Overdue Isaac Update

It’s been a very long time since I’ve done an Isaac update. I think that’s because of a few things:

  1. He’s been doing so well for so long! Praise the Lord!
  2. I started working part time on-again, off-again, and that sort of uses up any extra energy that I have.
  3. I haven’t done any regularly scheduled blogging in quite a while either.

So – let’s remedy that lack of Isaac updates today!

This is a significant month for Isaac. He turns 18 on the 20th!

He has finished all of his “schooling”, meaning we no longer have to send in homeschool updates to our county. He will be considered an adult by all legal and medical entities. Some of his doctors will no longer see him, as they are “pediatric” doctors. His adoption subsidy comes to an end.

Some of his doctors – his neurosurgeon and gastroenterologist – will continue to see him until he’s 21, and we are incredibly thankful for that!

Since Isaac is non-verbal, once he becomes an adult, he needs someone who can speak for him – a legal guardian. Being his parent is not enough – even if you are his adopted parent!

So today we went to our county courthouse, went into the judge’s chamber and petitioned to be his legal guardian. They say it is “merely” a formality, but that didn’t take away the nervousness we felt that something – God forbid – could go wrong.

We thank God that it didn’t! And we are both now Isaac’s legal guardians when he becomes an adult.

Some really interesting things happened today.  The Lord restored something to me (which I will blog about at a later date), our judge gave God the glory for our adopting Isaac and desiring to be his guardians, and our lawyer mentioned that any other work that he will do for us with be of No Charge.

We also found a pretty decent parking space and due to Doug’s long legs, we also arrived in the court house on time! 🙂

We saw God’s hand on us multiple times today. It was reassuring and humbling and overwhelming (but in a good way!)

Thank you for loving Isaac. Thank you for praying for him every time we ask. Thank you for supporting us with your kind words and acts of love.

We are so grateful that he has been happy and healthy for such a long time. He is usually content and settled, with only a few he-man, teenage outbursts to remind us that he has a mind of his own. His appetite is always growing and his sense of humor is still tickled by silly words, loud noises, being ornery, and occasionally, by nothing at all – just like a teenager!

We were thrilled to become his parents at his adoption, and we are humbled and grateful to continue to care for and love this miracle boy-child that God has trusted into our care.

Alesha Kay

Welcome!

Thanks so much for dropping by my blog! I share a little bit of everything here on Obtaining Mercy.

You might find a recipe you’d like to try, or read an update on my son Isaac. I will probably share some things that I’m learning in the Scriptures or a quote I’ve discovered in a great book I’m reading. You also might see some of my latest Bible verse graphics, a new hobby I’ve been enjoying.

Feel free to look around, visit the archives and leave a comment or two. I’m so glad you’re here!

Alesha Kay

 

 

A Bit o’ This and That

I took my mom to get a hair cut this morning.  A few minutes after the hair stylist got started, my brother walked in the door.  Turns out, his appointment was right after my mom's.  Too funny!

Yesterday, we traveled to Orlando for some routine tests for Isaac.  We asked folks on Facebook to pray about the procedure.  It went so much better than we even anticipated.  We were so grateful!  The results of the test were good too.  Our God is so good to us.

Remember, I made some homemade hair gel last week?  Well, I am LOVING it!!!  I highly recommend your giving it a try.

I also found another use for it:  eyebrow fixative.  I don't know about you, but as I get older, my eyebrows have gotten a little wild.  ;)  I never know what they're going to look like when I get home from church.  It's embarrassing!  So, I purchased a tube of brow fixative a while back, and it works well.  It was getting old, though, and almost empty, so I thought I'd replace it with my new flax gel.

I simply removed the stopper from the top of the old tube, and rinsed it with hot water until it was clean.  (The tube was clear plastic, so I could see when it was clean.)  I washed the wand thoroughly as well.  Then I used one of Isaac's medication syringes to draw up a bit of the flax gel and squirted it into the tube.  Now, I have a lovely new tube of eyebrow fixative, and it didn't affect my pocketbook at all.

Today I mixed up a hair rinse, to follow my baking soda hair cleanser. 

Hairrinse

It is a combination of water, vinegar, aloe vera gel, honey, and a couple of essential oils.  You can click here to find the recipe.

I'll be using it this weekend, and I will let you know how it goes.

Doug heads back to school on Monday, and Isaac and I will be fending for ourselves during the day.  We are working on getting a nurse, but the process has been one of "hurry up and wait".  I am trying to be patient and not push ahead of God's timing.

Praying you have a great weekend and that you spend time with God's people in church on Sunday!

Alesha

 

Encouragement from an Unlikely Source

I was changing Isaac today, getting him a dry diaper and clean clothes (and if you need to know why I am helping my 14-year-old son do these things, you can read his story here).

I was saying the usual things I say to him as I go through our routine.  On most days it's a running one-sided dialogue:

 

"Alright, here we go!
"Wet pants off. Wash, wash….ooooo, it's cold.  Brrrrrr. 
"Ok.  Rolly-Olly, dry diaper on.  Rolly back.
"Don't pinch Mommy!  No!  Ouch!  Stop it, Isaac! 

"Here, this foot in.  Other foot.  Now rolly again.  Pants up.  
"Are you ready to change your shirt?  This arm out first, good job, over the head now.  Whoop!  And the other arm.  All right!"

 

And then from the living room I heard our African Gray parrot, Poppet, talking.

"Very nice.  Very niiiiiiiice.
"Good job, Isaac!  Good joooooob!
"Here we go!  Here we go!
"Verrry nice!  Good work!

It's nice to know that I've said the right things often enough that the bird has memorized them. 

I've been encouraging in the past.  I've sounded sweet and kind to Isaac many times.  I've talked him through dressing and eating and therapy many, many times.

So, on that one day when I feel like a failure, when I know *for a fact* that I'm the world's worst mom, I'm going to remember the day I was encouraged by the bird – a bird who only learned the things that it heard.

Do you have a bird who talks?  If you did, what kinds of things would it be learning to say???

Amazed at His Goodness

The month of July just seemed to f-l-y by so quickly and then August started with a bang.  I could try to tell you every little thing, but, as Inigo Montoya says in Princess Bride, "No, there is too much. Let me sum up."

Doug had his hernia surgery on July 25th.  He is doing well.  He had a 2nd post-op appointment yesterday, and the doctor was pleased with his surgery site.  He has been on antibiotic for 10 days, due to a suspected infection, but it is looking well now.  He has to go back one more time, and then after 3 weeks, he will be free to lift more than 20 pounds, which is his limit right now.

The day after Doug's surgery, my dad had a heart attack and was in the hospital for a week.  He has been told that he needs open heart surgery – a triple or quadruple bypass.  But Daddy has never been one to do exactly as the doctors say, (and I am glad of that), and he is now home and considering his options.  I just hope he doesn't wait too long considering, or that he doesn't at least try to take care of himself while he is mulling things over.

Our caregiver has been a true God-send during these last couple weeks.  I don't know what I would have done without her, especially last week.  She was here for 25 hours, and that freed me up to be at the doctor with Doug and the hospital with Daddy.

Isaac is doing well.  He had his yearly MRI on his shunt.  Everything looked good, and they re-adjusted his shunt afterwards and he has had no problems.  He really loves having me in his room so much, now that I do all his diaper/clothes/bedding changes after the caregiver leaves at 2 p.m, and every evening and weekend.  I did all of his feeds for about a week, too, until Doug was able to start them again.

I've also been doing lots of disciplining and correcting with Isaac.  He is so incredibly – freakishly – strong now; and he has always been a pincher.  Well, now his "pinching" is more like "crushing", and his man-sized fingers and fingernails just peeeeeel the skin right off my arms.  I have been sporting lots of bruises and scratches these past 2 weeks. 

So, we've been working on that.  It is not easy.  He does not always understand.  Sometimes, he does understand, but he just doesn't care; and sometimes, he understands, but he just wants to do what he wants to do and he will not be deterred.  For the most part, though, he does understand pain and pleasure, and he also learns by repetition.  Thankfully, I enjoy the sound of my own voice and have no trouble repeating myself, ad naseum.

Financially, we are still doing ok.  Early in the month of July, the same sweet people dropped off another box of food for us.  We shared some of it with my family, but were able to use a lot of it.  We are so, so grateful for their ministering to our family this summer.

Both mine and Doug's parents gave very generously to help us pay for Doug's surgery.  The week before the surgery, the price went up by over $700, and after the surgery, we received another bill for $200 more.  It is truly beyond me why they can't just tell you the correct amount of money needed the first time you call.  They do this all the time…you'd think they could/would get it right!

As far as our budget goes, we have had only one bill that was late; but just this week, we received an unexpected check in the mail, and we were able to get it paid before it was 10 days overdue.

Doug goes back to work next Monday.  It's hard to believe that the summer is over!  God has been so, SO good to us!  I stand back and am amazed at the ways He has met our every need, and even a few of our "wants", as well.

He is a faithful, loving, generous God, and I am so thankful to be His child.

Alesha

 

It’s Going Swimmingly

With the tropical disturbance in the Gulf, we are getting a LOT of rain every day.  It feels like we need to "swim" about the yard to check on the garden and out to the mailbox and across town with the rivers of water rolling down the street.

Speaking of the mailbox, yesterday I was tickled to find the first of two books that I ordered last week.  I'm sure you're wondering why in the world I am ordering books when Doug is out of work.  So, I will tell you! 😉

I order all of Isaac's diapers and wipes from Overstock.  Each year, I renew my membership in their "Club O".  For me, it is an excellent deal.  Let me explain. 

The first year, I was automatically enrolled in Club O for free.  That was great.  I earned a certain percentage of O Rewards, which you can spend on their site.  The second year, I hesitated to pay the full amount of the enrollment; but then they offered it for $10 off.  Now THAT was a deal!  I've since discovered that they offer the $10 off every year.  I just wait until then to renew.

In 3 years time, I have received over $300 worth of merchandise with those O Rewards!  And guess what I paid for my Club O renewal last year!  $9.95!!!  Over $100 of merchandise a year for $9.95.

Now I realize that not everyone buys $150 of diapers and wipes every month like we do, and so for you, this might not be worth the money.  For us, though, it works great.

  • Last week, I realized I had over $15 in rewards waiting, so I ordered 2 books that I'd been wanting to read.  For them both, including shipping, I paid $1.68.
  • Today, I found a 10% off coupon for a food order that I was making online.  It saved me almost $5 AND I got free shipping!!!
  • I did quite a bit of surfing on the internet this morning, looking for raw cashews.  I finally found them here in Florida for just over $6 a pound.  We got the large pieces, and that saved quite a bit of money.  I will use these cashews to make sweet dishes on the Hallelujah Diet, and so I don't mind one bit if the nuts are whole or not.
  • We picked 5 small tomatoes from our garden today – 3 red and 2 yellow pears…yummy!

Well, Isaac didn't sleep last night.  That's the 2nd time this week that he has done that.  We are trying to track down the culprit causing his insomnia.  We are suspecting that it might be a tummy issue.  Anyway, I am thinking very seriously about taking a nap, so I am going to end this for today.

Looking forward to tomorrow's surprises,

Alesha

A Summer of Diligence

Hello.

I know it's been a while, but I'm going to just jump right in.

We are all doing well.  Isaac is growing and happy and we've had to start shaving his manly whiskers once a week now!

Doug and I are doing well too.

Last Monday marked Doug's first day of unemployment for the summer.  While he is actively seeking a job, nothing has opened up yet; and while all our bills are current, we have been unable to save toward the summer.  It is going to be a real journey of faith, and I thought perhaps you would be interested in reading about that here.

I am going to try to blog daily, and just let you know what the Lord is doing, and how He is helping us save money, make money stretch and in-a-nutshell, survive 12 weeks without income.

It is important, too, for me to let you know that Doug has been accepted into a research program for the Hallelujah Diet, and we will be eating according to that program for the next 5 months.

So, let's get started!

Week #1 –

  • We scaled back the  minutes on our cell phone plan and that will save us $20 a month.  Also, Doug switched to one of our old cell phones – a non-smart one – and that will save us $30 a month.
  • We changed our internet plan from the medium-speed to the slowest speed and that is going to save us around $17 a month
  • We found a grocery store closer to home that carries the foods that we usually have to go to Whole Foods to buy.  We saved on gas and some products were actually cheaper there.
  • I had a jewelry order come in, with the monies going directly to Paypal, and the purchaser actually paid a bit over to cover the fee amount that Paypal charges for money transfers.

We were also given some new stuffed monkeys for Isaac – which he loved!  He pulled them out of the bag and started playing with them right away! 🙂

So, week one was a rousing success.  We aren't going hungry and all the bills are currently up to date.

My theme verse for our new "diet" and for this summer is Proverbs 13:4 – "The soul of the sluggard desireth and hath nothing:  but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat."

Seeking the diligent way,

Alesha