Why We Call Our Blog the Miracle of More

The miracle is a beautiful image of Ephesians 3:20--more than I can ask or imagine. Every day is a miracle. Every moment is a miracle. Specifically for our family, the miracle of more is our family growing in ways I would never have imagined when we first committed to adoption 8 years ago. But, the greatest miracle is the change in ME!

If you have questions about adoption, our work in South Africa, or spina bifida, please email me at rbmattox@bellsouth.net

Monday, September 29, 2008

All About Ellie

Two weeks until our next CT scan...and possibly two weeks until the cast is off! I'm trying not to get too excited, tried not to count down too early. But, we've made it almost 5 weeks in the cast, and Ellie continues to amaze me. Please pray she can come out of that cast soon and she can walk!

In the above picture, I found Ellie under the piano. You can imagine my surprise when I found her there, since I had last seen her in the great room. She has scooted her way from there to the foyer, playing a game with Josie-Tatum. That girl can do almost anything in that cast, almost as much as she could do with her walker. She and Josie-Tatum are downstairs now watching, "Dance and Learn Chinese with Mei Mei." She is singing with enthusiasm, swaying and moving her hands to dance to the music. JT is dancing around her in circles.

But, I am ready to see her dance....really dance. I am ready to watch her walk, to see her run, to see her skip. I am ready to see her climb the stairs without being on her hands and knees. I want to see her jump waves at the beach; she loves the ocean so. I want to see her come down the slide and be able to walk around to the ladder to go up again, without having someone help her or bring her walker. And, she desires all of those things, too. So, please help me pray.

She is doing so well in spite of her limitations. She is eating much better, though she has lost a good bit of weight I think. I can see daylight from one opening in the cast to the other at her waist and groin areas. But, at church last week, she looked at me and said, "Mama, I'm hungry." Just now she said, "What's for supper?"

On a lighter note:
And, personal feminine products continue to be a favorite "toy" of Ellie's. Yesterday, during lunch, she held one up to show me. I asked, "Where did you get that?" She said, "Under here." She had apparently stuck it under the dining room table top during another meal in case she had an emergency and needed a maxi pad but didn't have time to run to the store.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

What Will You Do?

My heart is heavy, yet full of hope.

This week I followed a link to another blog, then followed another link, and found these 2 videos. After crying through them, I asked the girls if they would like to watch. As we watched, Josie-Tatum asked, "What? There are big kids who need families, too?" Then as we continued to watch she said, "I know one thing. If I didn't have to go to school, and you didn't have to go to work, and Ellie was out of her hard pants, we would go all around the world and bring back every orphan Daddy will let us bring home."

Now, I know that makes us all smile, but here is my question. What will you do? Our house if full, but I can't say, "I'm done." While I've donated a small amount to organizations helping orphans, I want to do more.

So, please, please take the time to watch these videos. I promise you will not be the same after you watch it. I'm not!

You can visit www.shaohannahshope.org for more information about what you can do.

After much prompting from the Holy Spirit, God used these videos to move me forward. I am working with another lady in our church to increase adoption awareness during November, National Adoption Awareness month. Perhaps others would like to join us!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I Heard Him Laugh

I teach at an elementary school with 1190 students. There are many special education students here, but one student, Alex, has stolen my heart.

Alex lives in a silent world. He is deaf, and has many other special needs. When I walk the halls, I like to say, "Good morning," to students passing by. I've always made a point to take a few steps out of my way so he will see me wave at him.

Today, I waved at him in the cafeteria. He got out of his seat and came to give me a hug. (That was a first.) Then, I signed, "Thank you." I've not signed to him before b/c I don't know what signs he has learned yet. He was so surprised, he laughed!

I've never heard him make a sound, but his laughter was music to my ears. Can you imagaine how special his laughter is to our Father?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Almost Routine--Almost Normal

Fall is in the air, and it finally feels like we should be back in school. It finally feels like we should be attending football games. I can finally get into my
car after work withouth leaving the doors open for 10 minutes. I love the changing seasons. God is smart...which one of us would have thought of that?

And, it seems like we are back to normal...almost. Well, at least, we are getting back into our school time routine. Wow! This time last year, we were still waiting on Ellie, waiting on our TA, and Stan had a different job. Brandon hadn't moved in yet, but he was spending his weekends with us. A lot has changed since last year, adn I love our new routine...our new normal.

Normal for Ellie right now is a bath at the kitchen sink, which you've seen pictures of before. I finally found a new routine for her, though, that makes it more enjoyable for both of us. While I am doing the best I can to clean the edges of the cast and into the cast as far as I can reach, Ellie plays with the water sprayer. She loves water and really gets "in" to this playtime as you can tell from picture number 2. This can keep her well entertained until I get finished, which can take some time...and still we smell like...pee pee. (I haven't found the secret for avoiding that.)

After church Sunday night, the boys planned their own supper of cheesy fries with bacon. These chefs could challenge the Galloping Gourmet or perhaps Emeril...never a dull moment in the kitchen. Stovetop, beware!

And, Monday Brandon feigned wanting a sweet picture with Josie-Tatum. Instead, he licked her cheek just I was getting ready to click the camera. Cute, anway! And, yes this is another normal day at our house.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Some Things Never Change

Oh, I am convinced that Ellie will always be Ellie. She wouldn't eat her supper
tonight unless Josie-Tatum fed her. I remember well the first day we met her in her foster home, she was refusing to eat. She never did start eating until her ayi started to feed her. So, when people tell me I've spoiled her rotten, I remind them she came to me that way. (The third picture is a reminder of that blessed day.)

And, today, while I was gone to Wal-Mart she made that lovely mess in the great room. Even a child in a spica cast can find a way to make a mess. She is by far the most strong-willed, messiest child in the family. While she cannot at this time, find all of the shoes in the closet, wear them around the house, and leave them anywhere, perhaps in a purse she puts in the toy box...she still finds a way to leave a mess behind.

And Then There Are House Repairs
Oh MY! Our home is 14 years old. We moved in when Whitney was just 6 years old, and Caleb was 3. I just stopped to remember Moving-In Day. Caleb spent the day climbing the stairs, dropping a stuffed animal from the balcony, going downstairs to pick it up, and starting all over again.

I was the Sunday School teacher in our youth Sunday School class, and two dear young people came to help out. Both of those two girls are now active members in their church, good moms, and dear friends!

But, now, alas, the house is reminding me of a cranky teenager. The toilet upstairs is leaking, water stains on the ceiling in the dining rrom. The ceiling fan in the great room stopped working. The dryer stopped heating. The phone will only let us call out. And, today, I couldn't get into the bathroom because the doorknob wouldn't work. Stan finally had to stop working on the toilet, and come take the doorknob off of the door, so I could get dressed to go by groceries. Life is a blast!

So, let me stop to say, "Thank you, Jesus, for my home. Thank you for a roof over my head, a comfortable bed, and an air conditioner to keep me cool. Thank you for cabinets full of food, and a refrigerator full of milk. Thank you that you will supply all my need according to YOUR riches in glory."

His mercies are new every morning. He is love. Every good and perfect gift comes from Him. He is the way, the truth and the life. He will never leave me or forsake me. Some things never change.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Alternative Activities

After my most recent heart-felt post, I must share the other side of life in the Mattox family. I hope no one is offended. ;)

Ellie's new favorite play things are panty liners and maxi pads. Okay, I know how weird that is, really, and I refused to let her take a panty liner to church in her bag, but....
We use panty liners and ultra thin maxi pads on the outer edges of her cast. This prevents the lining from getting wet with, you know, waste. Well, it absorbs most of it, in addition to the diaper tucked inside the cast, and the larger diaper outside the cast. All of this takes some considerable time, and Ellie enjoys helping. She wants to open the packages, take of the backing, etc. Then, one day, she thought, "Hey Neat!" If that wasn't enough, Josie-Tatum was afraid she was missing out on the fun, so she wanted her own toys to play with.

The above pictures were taken when they used panty liners as bandages around their imaginary injuries. The next time your kids say, "Mom, I'm bored." Give them some panty liners, and say, "See what you can think of to do with this."

In Other NewsThe Tooth Fairy may be seen tonight in the southeast Georgia area. Josie-Tatum has lost her tooth, and well, let's say she lost her tooth and she lost her tooth, um misplaced her tooth. So, it was loose, loose enough to blow in the breeze, but no persuasion from her paternal parent could convince her allowing him to wiggle it was a good idea. Then, she went to sleep, and, when she awoke, it was gone. Scout's Honor.

Well, the tooth was nowhere to be found, not in my bed where she started her evening, not on the sofa where she was later transitioned, and not in the bed where she finally rested. This morning, the tooth was on my nightstand. Go figure! So, tonight it will be carefully placed under a pillow.

And Now Available From Your Local Thrift StoreWell, maybe if you're Aunt Bobbie. Aunt Bobbie, the giver of good gifts, like gummy eye balls, and the ever-willing side kick for trips to China, or the favorite cheerleader at HS football games, is also the finder of all good things from the second hand shop. Now, Ellie is the proud owner of a throne...how fitting. It is wide enough to accomodate her cast, and it's short enough to allow her feet to rest on the floor. So, the Empress is enjoying her afternoon, at last with the throne she knew she deserved.

Monday, September 15, 2008

How Beautiful

"How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings...that publisheth salvation."

This is Ellie and our pastor. When I was taking her picutre, she reached her hand around his face. Does that tell you how special he is to her? to me? You must hear her yell sometime, "Hey Preacher!" He is truly a shepherd for his flock.

The day of Ellie's surgery Brother Randall and our associate pastor Brother Bobby got up and left home around 1:30 in the morning. They were at the hospital waiting in the lobby when we drove up. Can you imagine the peace and love I felt when Brother Bobby called the night before to tell me they were both coming to be with us. They stayed the entire day, until Ellie was wide awake from her surgery.

When Ellie was not awakening from her anesthesia (oops, catch my tears) I wish you could have heard Brother Randall gently calling her name. I was sweetly saying the name of Jesus, and I knew that I knew that he was praying. You may remember the post before her surgery when I mentioned his prayer when his words just wouldn't come. The love of Jesus shines in his heart and on his face.

He has been our pastor for almost 20 years. He came to our church when Whitney was just a baby. He was there for Whitney when her dog ran away. She knew he cared for her enough to pray, so she stopped by his office before morning services to ask him. He was there when Caleb had surgery when he was 1 year old. He was there when my daddy first surrendered his life to Jesus. He was there when a drunk driver pulled into Stan's semi's path. The drunk driver was killed. Brother Randall sat by the phone with me for hours until the company assistant brought STan home from the accident in Florida. He was there for my daddy's open heart surgery. He is a man I can count on.

And, today is his birthday. "Happy Birthday, Preacher!"

But, as I was typing, I was reminded. God was there. God has always been there. God will always be there. God is our comforter, and I thank Him for the body of Christ. I cannot imagine facing life's storms without the body He has given us. He is so good!

And the picture below is of Ellie with our associate pastor, Brother Bobby! Such a dear friend. He served in our church several years ago, and God has brought him back to us. Brother Bobby and I have carried children to camp together, 12 hours away, so you can imagine the stories we could tell. One day I'll have to share some of those. Just say, "I'm glad Brother Bobby's nose is clean in this picure!"

Friday, September 12, 2008

I Love My Hometown

It is wonderful to live here in my favorite part of south Georgia. I live in the town where I grew up, and, while it's not so small anymore, it still has that small town feel.

Our HS football team visits our elementary school during football season and reads to students on game days. Today was the first visit of the year, and the team visited with kindergarten. Living and teaching here, we were blessed to request that Brandon visit Josie-Tatum's classroom. She was thrilled and anxious to get to school today because Brandon was coming. Don't they look precious?

I was at a workshop, but our media specialist took pictures for me and emailed them. Thank you, Betsy!

And, tonight we get to watch our favorite football player, #51, the best cheerleader on the football team, PLAY BALL! If you hear lots of cowbells and shouts, it's my family. We cheer "in style." We have pom poms, megaphones, and a dozen cowbells, all royal blue, of course. Go Bears! Go Brandon! Our associate pastor recently told Brandon he would attend a game and be the most obnoxious fan there. Brandon told him, "You'll have to keep up with Mrs. Robbie, Aunt Bobbie, Grandma, and Aunt Melanie."

Ellie Update

Ellie's ability to adapt to new situations simply amazes me. She adapted to us as her family. She adapted to new language, new foods, new routines, etc. She is adapting to life in a cast with the same tenacity.

She has learned that she can roll over the floor to get from place to place. Yesterday morning when I went into her room, she was sleeping on her side...almost. She was lying on the right side of her torso, and her left leg and foot were in the air. Of course, I didn't have the camera. She can enjoy hours at the computer, or hours at the table coloring, or hours on the couch with Daddy watching TV.

She still isn't eating much, but I'm told by her health care providers and other been-there-done-that moms not to worry. I was reminded by a friend today she isn't expending much energy in a day. Her appetite has increased some. And, praise the LORD, there is still no poo on the cast.

Tonight, she'll go to her first football game in her cast. It's an away game, about 45 minutes from home. I hope she does well. She loves ballgames, and tonight will determine if she goes to other away games this year.

Go Bears! Go Brandon!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Today's Visit to Shriner's

Praise the LORD for a great day!

The doctor's visit was rather uneventful. All is well. The cast was trimmed some, since Ellie often complains of backpain. They lined the outer edges with mole skin.
All is healing as hoped!

We go back in 5 weeks, and she could get her cast off then!!!! That is October 14th, my birthday. Last year, on my bd I was in the air on my way to get my baby girl.

Ellie slept both going and coming home, 2 hours each way. She was easily entertained, and I am more than grateful.

I'll try to post a few pics tomorrow.

Thank you for your prayers....
A very tired mama

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Quick Update

Ellie slept better last night and took a good nap today. She was a much more pleasant little girl.

Sad face: I go back to work tomorrow. For one day, and then back on Wednesday.

Prayer Request: Ellie, Grandma, and I will be headed back to Tampa tomorrow afternoon. We will have a CT-Scan and visit the doctor on Tuesday. Please pray that her hip is healing well. Perhaps, we'll be encouraged to think she might really get out of her cast in 6 weeks, rather than 12.

Praise: Ellie poo pooed on the potty today at church. She told Grandma she had to go, and go she did! Woo Hoo! So far, no poo on the cast.

It may be Tuesday before I can update again, prayerfully with good news from the doctor.

Thanks for your prayers,

Saturday, September 6, 2008


Okay, lovely picture of me, I know, but the good news is...Ellie has been eating better today. I've grown a bit worried at how little she is eating. Her little legs are looking too small to her mama.

But, the not so good news is...she did not sleep well last night. She was unhappy and uncomfortable, totally drenched in sweat this morning at 1:15. I couldn't get her comfortable, but Daddy to the rescue. When she couldn't go back to sleep, he got up with her and they watched Diego videos until 4:15. He brought her back into our room, where she continued to chat....I have no idea what time she went to sleep, but she was sleeping at 9:00 a.m. when the phone rang.

She spent the day a little cranky, but not quite as difficult as she was on Wednesday. Josie-Tatum and I spent some time together at Wal-Mart while she napped, and Ellie was most unhappy when she awoke and we were gone.

We ended the day with bath time and manicures. Aunt Melanie and her girls stopped by. Aunt Melanie, to quote my mother, is actually the best friend I've ever had. She and I have been friends since 6th grade. Let's just say we both know far too much about each other. Few people are so blessed to have a close friend for that many years.

So, Aunt Melanie helped with the bath time. She kept Ellie distracted while I cleaned up the cotton on the edges of the cast in those places that are, um, hard to keep smelling sweet. Notice they are playing pirates and swords. Cool weapons, huh.
Then Emilyann, Melanie's oldest daughter, gave Ellie her Tinkerbell manicure.

Let's hope for sweeter dreams tonight.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Attachment and Bonding-On a Different Path

Most adoptive parents-to-be spend much time with reading and education. In preparation for adopting a toddler, I read many articles on attachment and bonding, preparing myself for difficult moments. Those of you who followed our journey to China know that we had some rough moments, but all in all it's been wonderful.

Ellie, at first, attached to her daddy, then to Aunt Bobbie, all to the exlusion of Mama. While I knew this was normal, it broke my heart. We worked diligently to help her learn to accept love, care, and affection from her mother, and our efforts bore fruit.

After coming home and going back to work within 10 days of our homecoming, Ellie has learned to be content with other caregivers. She loved her daycare provider, enjoyed days home with Daddy and Whitney, but soon learned to be delighted when Mama came home.

While we were in the hospital and I shared with a friend that Ellie wanted no one but Mama, this wise friend Joli said, "How good for you and Ellie. What a great time for bonding."

I hadn't thought of it that way, but this recuperation period has provided the opportunity for Ellie and Mama to from a tighter bond. She has day after day preferred the company of her mama over anyone. And, when I thought about it, I thought, "She finally realizes she NEEDS me."

When we adopted her, she could dress herself, feed herself, bathe herself, and was accustomed to comforting herself at bedtime. She enjoyed playtime with her jiejie, Josie-Tatum, and preferred that playtime over fun with Mama.

Now, she needs me to help her dress, must have help with her bath. She has to put her trust in me that I want let her fall off the kitchen counter during bath time. She is no longer in control. She needs help to change positions. Even one night, she was crying because she had become tangled in the covers and couldn't get her feet out. She is learning to lean on me.

And, isn't that like us, God's children? We draw closer to Him when we think we NEED Him, when the truth is we NEED him everyday. We are often unaware of his daily provision for us, but when troubles come, we are reminded. He is such an awesome God. He gave His son for us. Do you think he enjoys spending that sweet time with us when we need him most--the way I've enjoyed my time with Ellie. Don't you know He runs to us when we get tangled in the covers, as we've been kicking up our own messes.

I had the best laugh when I reached in Ellie's cast and washed her belly button. She giggled hysterically. Wonder how much He enjoys our laughter? Has he tickled your belly button today? Sent an uncontrollable laugh? And, I wonder if He sometimes gives us cookies, just so we'll drink our milk?

More Bath Time---

She was trying to see her hair.

Ellie found a new position yesterday. She was lying in the floor watching TV with JT, and she rolled over. She happily spent the next few minutes on her tummy. Then...I dropped something and she wanted to get it for me. OH NO! the doctor does not want her to crawl. How difficult will it be now to get her to be still.

This is what happens if you let go of your balloons.

Caleb To The Rescue

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Go Brandon!!!

And the Player of the Week is:
(Pictured above is Josie-Tatum holding his ratty practice jersey.)

Brandon played an excellent game last Friday when I couldnt' watch him play. He recieved the Player of the Week Award from his coaches and had his picture in our local paper. I'm working at getting copies of some pictures taken by a local photogapher.My best friend Melanie kept me informed each time he made a big play. I would run out to the nurses' station and give a report. He sacked the quaterback, recovered a fumble, and had countless tackles. (Well, he knows the number...I forgot.)

And, Brandon is the BEST off the field and on the field. He's the player on the sidelines firing up the team, has been since he was a freshman. I used to call my my favorite cheerleader on the football team.

Brandon's story is his to tell, but he has long had a place in my heart. When the LORD made the crooked paths straight, our home and hearts were open to him. While I've known him and loved him for nearly 7 years, I've had the privilege of calling him MINE for the past 10 months.

Go Brandon! I love you!

Ellie Update
Today was a much better day. She didn't go to sleep until 11:00 last night, but she slept all night, until 10:30 this morning. She ate a little more breakfast than usual. (I've learned to put milk in her grits to boost her calcium.) She has been pleasant, and only complained when her cast was poking in her back.

And, I'm getting a break tonight!! She is now at Grandma's house, early because she asked me to take her NOW. (This is the first time since surgery she hasn't cried if I left her.) She'll stay with Grandma when JT, C, and I leave for the ballgame. Daddy will have her later when he gets in from work.

So, go Ellie! Go Brandon!!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A Not So Good Day

So, how could I call it a "Not So Good Day" and get a picture like that? Well, it was not so good. We had good moments, but they were few.

Ellie awoke at 1:30 this morning. She was screaming and her nose was bleeding. It made her more upset to pinch her nose to stop the blood flow. She, who is very strong, would pull my hand away before we could get a clot.
Then, I laid down with her, but she kept pointing. I asked if she wanted to go downstairs to my room. We did, she wasn't happy, we got up, we rocked, she decided it was time to play. I asked if we could lie on the floor together. She said yes. She wanted to watch TV. I said no. I have no idea what time she and I went back to sleep, but all too soon it was 6:30 and time to get JT ready for school.

We took Josie-Tatum to school, and Ellie cried all the way home b/c she missed her sister. I finally went to bed with her and let her scream until she took a nap..short...the phone rang woke her up.

While she was happy for about an hour on the computer, she spent the rest of the day a very cranky little girl, who needed sleep.

We went to visit friends who had invited us for lunch. (you may remember her future husband Daniel from previous posts.) Well, she was not the best of friends today. All of Joli's children were kind when she was not. They tried to help her, she fussed. They wanted to see her cast, she fussed. But, they continued to use their manners when she was forgetting hers.

While watching a Mei Mei video, however, her children were so kind, especialy Elisabeth, who would hold her hands and dance around her. Ellie would dance in my lap. For the first time, around 1:30 this afternoon, she was a happy girl. (I had tried, as you will notice in one picture, to stand and dance with her. Man, that tires out an old woman who need sleep.)

Ellie refused to close her eyes, so we went to see our baby cousin, and Ellie continued to be upset when he touched her or her mother.

After coming home, she screamed and screamed until I finally went to bed with her. She was asleep very shortly, which means, she is now sleeping soundly at 6:11 PM. So, what does that mean for tonight?

Here's a picture I accidentally loaded, but rather than delete it, I thought I'd leave it here to show you what crazy boys I live with. Gotta love them!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Encouraging News

First the news of today:
Ellie was not quite as pleasant today. She woke up early and never took a nap, but she has amazed me with her resilience. You would never know she has been through so much in the past week. She's beginning to eat a little better.

I spent some Josie-Tatum and Mama time today. It was simple. Ellie was playing on the computer at starfall.com and Playhouse Disney. JT and I sat in the recliner by the computer and colored together. It was such a little thing, but she enjoyed it greatly. Then the girls started coloring together, so I could post for the day.

And Now Today's Headline Story:
So much was going on with Ellie's surgery updates that I've waited to share these encouraging moments sent from the LORD.

The day of Ellie's pre-op she needed another cathed urinalysis to check to be sure her bladder infection was clear. During the catherization, the muscles of the uretha were pushing out the catheter! Do you know how BIG that is?

And, while back at the hotel, I was reading, Ellie was eating a sucker, when she interrupted both of us rather loudly with, "I'm poo pooing Mommy." Well, she wasn't at the moment, but we went to the potty, where she successfully used the potty for a BM. (Most of the time she tells me in the middle of the process or right after the event is over--a little anti-climactic if you know what I mean.)

So, a couple of days after surgery, I asked the spina bifida care coordinator to come by to see me. (She was coming to check on us anyway.) This time we didn't talk about surgery , but about bowel/bladder control. When I started talking to her, she said the nurse who cathed Ellie had already told her about the muscles pushing out the cath. Did I mention how BIG this is? Well, Ellie's bladder empties spontaneously, and she has bladder spasms, but there is hope that, when she begins medication to calm her bladder down, she can be trained to use those muscles. Praise the LORD for hope!!!!!!!!!!

And, after talking with Jacki about the findings from the gastroenterologist, she offered some tips for bowel training when Ellie is out of the cast. More Hope!!!!!

Perhaps, along with your prayers, these big pieces of news have kept my spirits up. I'm a little tired today, so today is the day to really praise my Jesus.
"I will sing of your mercy, to You, O LORD, I will sing praises."

Monday, September 1, 2008

Adventures In SpicaTown

Ellie and I both slept last night. I got up to start doing the serious unpacking, laundry, etc., and she kept sleeping. Josie-Tatum got up, and Ellie kept sleeping. I went to be sure she was breathing, and she kept sleeping. Caleb and Brandon came home from an impromptu game of soccer, and Caleb asked, "Should I make sure she is alive?" He checked on her and she kept sleeping. Ellie slept for over 13 hours last night!

When she woke up, she was in the best mood we've seen yet. She wasn't fussing for me to go get her, but smiling up at me when I walked in her room. Her first question was, "Where's Josie?" (I don't think there is another sister who loves her jie jie anymore than Ellie loves JT.)

After changing her diaper, she wanted to go back upstairs with Josie-Tatum. I put 2 pillows behine Ellie's back, and she was able to sit at the computer. She played at Playhouse Disney for nearly 2 hours, while casually sipping her strawberry milk. JT was always there to offer a hand when she clicked the wrong button. She never fussed.

Uncle Sands has been our only visitor thusfar today. He can be an impressive bachelor. He brought color books, sticker books, AND sunvisors he made himself. Ellie was still too busy, though, playing on the computer to do much more than say "Thank you."

We've just spent this past part of the afternoon at the nail salon. Well actually, in our great room floor. I spent 30 minutes applying fake fingernails, (artificial would sound too nice for what these were), to the girls' nails. They both kept them about about 2 mintues afterwards. But, hey, it was 30 minutes without any crankies.

Some have asked about Josie-Tatum. She very much wants to stay home with Mama and Ellie. She had a birthday party this afternoon, and she wouldn't go. On Saturday, before we came home, she had a melt down at the party of a cousin....though she was there with Grandma and Aunt Bobbie. I'm trying to find a way to take her away for a few hours and give her some undivided time, but right now, that won't be good for Ellie.

Playtime has changed in more than one way at our house!! Last night Josie-Tatum was pushing Ellie around the house in her wheel chair to entertain her. Then they came back with a baby. Ellie said, "My baby is going to have surgery, and then she can walk, right Mommy?" (JT was mommy at the time.) The baby went away, after breathing in the mask and having some medicine from a play syringe.
When the baby came back, JT asked E, "How was the surgery>"
E said, "It was good. He not cry."
It was priceless.

Thanks for checking in on us. We are so blessed to have all of you thinking of and praying for us!
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