"what i've said, that will i bring about & what i've planned, that will i do." isaiah 46:11
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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

- Want to write Dustin? -

i know many of you've asked about writing to dustin with words of encouragement - if you'd like to, we'd love to have you write him & i know for sure, he'd enjoy getting them as it's a way for him to pass the time - here's the address & you'll have to write it exactly as it's listed below:
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Dustin Wayne Shepler #55798 D-block 408
c/o Hamilton County Jail
18102 Cumberland Road
Noblesville, IN 46060
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keep this in mind: you cannot send any money of any kind, no stickers, glitter, polaroid pics, crayon coloring, etc. - this can't be on the envelope or on the letter - you can't have anything spilled on the letter/envelope either [ie: don't sit a cup of coffee on it & leave a ring as it'll be thrown out] - thanks to all of you that would be willing to do this for us, it not only helps him, but will also help us - be sure to write in there that you know us!!! - thanks

- I've had a little 'revamping' done -

alright, here ya go ronda!!
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i was out with friends the other night & someone mentioned something about 'revamping' something - i said, "yeah, that's what i want to do to myself, is just to be revamped!" - i'll get myself looking all 'fine' & have a new 'do done & be like, "alright folks, look at me!"
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i opened my mail today to find that after i went & did my revamping act the other day, someone [without my consent] went & photographed me & published it in a magazine! - i told brit that i could probably sue & everything due to me not signing anything & allowing them to use my picture like this - i think this' a horrible thing that they're doing to people all over the world - taking innocent people that are trying to do good in the world & then exploiting them this way...it's appalling
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since it's already been published, i'll go ahead & share 'the new me' - here's how my 'revamping worked'
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ronda...i think i won the biggest loser game, huh? *wink*

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

- The last few days -

well, let's see what have i been doing?
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brit came home from school last wednesday, not feeling well & guess what?...she's still home sick! - i took her to the dr yesterday & they said she could go back thursday if she felt like it as she's got strep! - ahniér's been sick since thursday as well, but she's all congested VERY bad - i took her in yesterday too, but it was a wasted trip as they said to give her saline regularly [I AM], suck her nose our religiously [I AM] & give her motrin for fever as needed [I AM] - gosh, guess i'm good enough to be a dr, right? - ruby & kiara's complained a time or 2 about a tummy ache, but nothing's progressed so praying it keeps its distance - last night i began feeling like i was coming down with the same thing brit & ahniér have [scratchy throat, chills, aches, headache, watery eyes, etc.], so praying that doesn't go any further either
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last night when i was putting the girls down to bed, i noticed ruby's clothes were left in the bathroom - i suggested she put them in the laundry & as she was doing this, i went on to put kiara & karleigh down - as i went back to the bathroom awhile later, i found ruby with a tube of toothpaste, squeezing it into her mouth as fast as she could - she'd already downed about ½ the tube from what i could gather, so i called the pharmacy & was sent on to poison control - poison control said that she'd more than likely either vomit or poop it all up by morning, but to keep her up 1 hour last night & give her lots of milk to drink [which we did] - this morning i went in at 5:45am to get ruby up & ready for school & the smell about knocked me down - she'd pooped her pants & hadn't even woke up!! - she's fine, but was a bit grossed out by the whole mess [literally] as she was being bathed at 6am UGH
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ruby's started [again] misbehaving in school & has continued this behavior at home as well [OH JOY] - yesterday she came home without her gloves [i'm getting soooo sick of this] & said that they were left at school because JV [her teacher] made her leave them there - i emailed JV & shared the story & when she asked ruby this morning where her gloves were, ruby stated that they were left at home because i wouldn't let her bring them!! - JV later emailed me today & said the gloves were located in the gym [where ruby left them the day before] - about 15 minutes later i got another JV email that stated another teacher [not ruby's] had just come to JV's room with ruby's new CI [she just got a replacement last week] & that ruby had put it down in her classroom & walked off & left it! - JV's at her wits end with this too & asked what to do - i told her to NOT let ruby come home on the bus today & that i was on my way as we'd to get to the end of this junk - on my way, i called spike & asked what he was doing for the next couple hours - he said, "well nothing, but it sounds like you've got plans for me" - he met me at the school & we both had it out with ruby right in front of JV & also had an interpreter that was there as well [keep in mind that ruby's deaf, as if JV, so we wanted to have noooooooo communication problems at all] - there were so many hands flippin', faces frowning, words a flyin', that i was almost duckin'!!! - in the end, i think she got the point that we were all on the same page & none of us are putting up with her nonsense
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in other news: while in the middle of this big 'visit' at the deaf school with JV today, ruby did fess up about something - she admitted that the 'lost ci' was actually thrown out the bus window that day, by her...geez, she's wearin' me out!
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now, i wonder what the next few days has in store for me?!?!

Monday, January 26, 2009

- Takin' in 2 more! -

yep, you read it right - here's what's going on 'round here
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as most of my faithful readers know, dustin was sentenced recently to time behind bars - well, prior to him going in, he'd began seeing a young lady named keyra - we've all fallen in love with not only her, but also her little boy avry [age 2] - she's not only a full time mommy, but a student as well & was in the process of starting to look for an apartment as where she's living now, let's just say 'isn't what she wanted for herself & her son' - she's a great gal & we all get along very well, so.....
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we've offered to let them both move in here for a time - she'll save some money that she can put back for school & we'll have the opportunity to really bond with them both - right now she's committed to dustin & he to her - she's planning on waiting for him & then they can go from there on building their relationship, once he gets out - this will give us all time to get to know each other better & to let her get a taste of what our family's really like *wink*
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anyhow, she's moving in sometime the latter part of february, so pray for all of us that it's a positive experience & everyone benefits from it - we're all so excited!! - love ya keyra [& avry too!]

Thursday, January 22, 2009

- "I'm glad I can still smell him" -

karleigh starts off every night sleeping in ahniér's room & then we take her to the bathroom when we go to up & move her into her own room [that way she & kiara don't goof around when it's bedtime], where she sleeps the rest of the night
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last night, i woke her up, she went potty, then when she got back in the room, she said, "mommy, where's those shorts?" - i said, "what shorts?" - she started looking around & saw them, they were laying on the recliner that's in the room - i grabbed them & said, "where did these come from?" - i then noticed that dustin had slept in that room before his sentencing last week & there was a stack of his clothes laying there & she'd picked up these shorts of his
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they're the silky basketball shorts that guys wear that are really loose fitting, etc. - these are gray/silver & VERY silky - i said, "why do you have those?" - she smiled & said, "coz i found them over there [pointing at his stack of clothing in the corner] & they're dusty's - did you know that if you do this [she presses them up to her face], you can smell him? - do you care if i start sleeping with them & that way, when i need a 'dusty hug', i'll just smell them with my eyes closed tightly & i'll pretend he's laying here with me...will that be fine?"
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[bawling my head off] "yes karleigh, that'll be fine - you can keep them for him until he comes home" - to that, she smiled & drifted off to dreamland & as i was closing the door all i could hear was her sniffing & saying, "i'm glad i can still smell him"

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

- da da -

yep, as of yesterday, ahniér's started saying, "da da" - talk about spike being a proud daddy!! - she's been cooing & making noises for some time now, but in church sunday, she cut loose! - it was one of those, "wow, did you hear that noise that i just made? - let me do it for you 1 more time, just to make sure that you know it's me!" type of noises - high pitched squeals & lots of 'em - it's now progressed on to starting to say 'da da'
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she's doing so well in everything else except eating baby food from a spoon [sooo not interested!] - she'd much rather take it from a feeder as it comes quicker & she's all about food coming fast!
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the other ahniér quirk is paci's - i'd posted awhile back here about we really wanted her to be a thumb sucker [i know, some of you will want to shoot me!], but she just couldn't find it - she'd try with all her might, but it just wasn't happening, so we gave up - we purchased about every kind of paci known to man & bought multiples of each of them all, 'just in case' she took to them - well, she gravitated to a specific brand that they give out at the hospitals & i was able to order them online & so i was thrilled [pictured below]
well, we now own 10 of these cute little things called 'gumdrops' & guess what??? - now, she'll not take one at all & you know what's even more crazy?? - she's now found her thumb! [or at least is beginning to] - i'm exhausted trying to keep up with this girl changing her mind so often, especially when she's only 4 months old!! - they say, "it's a girls right to change her mind" & i'm sure now that ahniér's read that book, over & over & over!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

- A Heavy Heart -

this will be short for me, but here goes...
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we went today for the sentencing & 5 people testified for dustin [his pastor, a longtime family friend, spike, the arresting detective & then dustin] - they all talked about where he'd come from [his lifestyle] to where he is today [going to church/has a job/goes to counseling, etc.] - everyone pretty much talked about the same things & all the 'stories matched' - spike was saying a lot about how family relationships were strained when he lived on his own & was doing his own thing, but since all this trouble, he's come back 'home', made relationships right again, gotten his life back on track, doesn't miss a church service, hasn't missed a day of work, etc. - spike also shared that when this all started, we'd basically told him that he'd not get any help from us until certain things were accomplished [all the things listed earlier] & that he'd done just that...taken care of his business
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in the end, the judge said that after hearing the testimonies, that he felt he knew what the sentence should be due to hearing spike said that, "dustin made this change in his life because we MADE him do it" [that's NOT what spike said!]
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this went on & on until the sentence was read & as most of you know you're sentenced to whatever & then serve ½ of that - this' just what he's to SERVE
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2 years in prison, then 2 years work release where he'll be living there, then 4 years probation, so basically he will serve 8 years!!
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i'm emotionally drained right now & can't think, see straight, my eyes are burning, my mind's mush & i need to lay down - please pray for his protection as this' so NOT him - please pray that his heart stays right & that this doesn't 'change' who he is as a person - i can't even bear to think of what he's going through right now - pray also for spike as he's feeling about as low as you can & feels it was his words that locked dustin up, etc. - good nite

- Tomorow's the day -

well, tomorrow's the day - dustin will be sentenced for sure & i'm dreading it more than you know - i know it's in God's hands & i did pray a long time ago, "God, whatever it takes to get him back to You", but you know what...this' NOT what i had in mind! - one thing that's helped with all this' the fact that he rededicated his life to the Lord & i told him awhile back, "dustin, i can't make you do anything, but knowing that you'd your life right before God, before the sentencing would make it easier to swallow" - i thank God for the son he gave us - i know he's gotten himself in trouble, but he truly has been a blessing in our lives & we love him more than words can say - alright, i'm getting teary eyed again, so i'll close - pray for us tomorrow [sentencing's at 1:30...UGH]

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

- Ahniér rolls over!! -

video

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

- A Little Late, I Know -

one of the first pics we received while she was still in haiti

karleigh on the day she arrived 'home when karleigh saw this pic [below], she said, "mommy, you can't blog that...i have no hair!!" - i said, "karleigh, you were a baby, it doesn't matter" - she said, "well, it's not a picture of you with no hair, it's me!!" [keep in mind she's only 5!!]

yes, i'm a bit late in posting this & for that, i'm sorry - sorry to no one but karleigh - karleigh celebrated her 5th birthday [yes, you read that right, she's now 5!!] - where did the time go? - she came home at 5 months & she's 5 years already, how did this happen? - she's the sweetest little girl in the entire world & i tell her daily how she's my very favorite karleigh - here's a few pics of karleigh for you to enjoy
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karleigh, i just want you to know how much i love you, enjoy being your mommy & watching you grow - you teach me so much every day & i value those 'lessons' with you - i hope you enjoyed 'your day' & many more will follow - happy birthday one more time, i love you

Monday, January 12, 2009

- what's in a name? -

i've recently been asked the question, " how did you come up with your childrens names - was it a family name, something you just liked, since they're adopted you felt like keeping the name they were given...what was it?" - since the question was posed to me, i thought i'd explain a bit - for our children, we wanted to give them a name we'd chosen, but yet give them a bit 'more', so sit back & i'll tell you how we arrived at the names our children carry today
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dustin wayne shepler [meaning: valiant fighter/wagon maker] - dustin was a name i'd liked for many years - it wasn't being used a lot, so not everyone carried that name [which to me was a good thing] - i really wanted him named after my father [wayne], so that for him is about as complicated as it gets
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brittany nichole shepler [meaning: strong/victorious] - we adopted brit when she was a toddler & since we'd never adopted before, we really didn't know if we could/could not change her name - we felt at the time that since she knew her name, we'd let her keep it - we didn't know her middle name & spike was at the grocery & heard someone calling for brittany nichole & he loved it - he asked me about it & i really didn't care what it was, i just wanted her here & for me to be her mommy, so to me we could've called her 'frank' at that point - we later found out her middle name was already nichole! [sidenote: had we known then, what we know now, we'd for sure have named her something else as she hates it sooo much - she's more of a 'odd name' kind of girl & loves cool spellings, weird sounding names, etc. & to her 'brittany' is so boring]
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kiara jo-monéus shepler [meaning: feminine & dark/god's grace] - we'd picked kiara 'key air ah', just because we liked it - jo, after her gma joan & monéus 'moan a ease' was her haitian last name [sidenote: after naming her kiara, we ran across another kiara that spelled her name k'heira & i soooooooooooooo wish i'd have thought of that - this k'heira said her family's christians & wanted her to always see when writing her name that she was an heir of god, so they put it right in the middle of her name...how cool!]
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ruby annelize letant shepler [meaning: precious stone/gracious/consecrated to god] - we picked the name ruby after my g'ma & my mother who both have that as their first names - a middle name for ruby was harder for us to come up with - we chose annelize 'anna lease' as my middle name's ann, her great great g'ma's name was anne 'anna' & her birth mama's name's liz 'lease', so we ran it all together - we then added her haitian last name letant 'la taw'
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karleigh rei chérélus shepler [meaning: petite/song of joy] - we loved the name karleigh 'car lee' & once we found this spelling we were hooked for sure - we then found the name rei 'ray' & loved the meaning even more - chérélus 'share a loose' was her haitian last name
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ahniér mirlande desruisseaux shepler [meaning: grace/favor of god] - our son told us of the name ahniér 'on yeah' when he knew we were trying to think of neat names as he'd heard it before - mirlande 'meer lawn' was my sister madisyn's haitian name & we've always thought that it was beautiful & finally i'd a sister to name a daughter after!! - we were torn though on what the 3rd name would be as all our other haitian children have 4 names, but she'd no haitian last name, since she was born here in the states - we asked madisyn if she'd care letting ahniér use her last name desruisseaux 'dairy so' & she liked the idea [thanks madisyn!]
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now it's your turn, how'd you pick the names for your children??

- he did it! -

just to let you all know the good news from our house - today, dustin went to church with us & at the end of service he went up & rededicated his life to the lord!!! - i've been telling him for a long time now that it still wouldn't be easy [what's facing us this coming thursday], but it'd be a whole lot easier to handle, knowing that he'd given his life to god - i've been praying for him for a long time & i just want him to know how happy i am for him in his decision & i know that he can handle this all [as can we]...with god's help - again, praise the lord!

Friday, January 9, 2009

- unexpected blessings -

last night, i received a voice mail on my cell phone from a family member that i've not spoken to for a few years - when i listened to the message, i almost couldn't believe my ears
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a little background in this situation: we've a family member [we'll call them 'n'], that i used to be pretty close as i'd spend a lot of my summers with them - over the years, they got married & had children as did i - well, things were very well between us & even though we didn't live near each other any longer, we still enjoyed each others company at get togethers, etc.
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well, we adopted kiara in '03, then karleigh in '04 & lastly [or so we thought] ruby in '05 - during all our adoptions, i'd send out 'updates' on where we were in the process at the time & even after the kids got home, i'd let people know how they were doing, etc. - well, one day after giving an update, i received an email from 'n' that asked they not get anymore updates - they stated they were glad we were happy, but didn't need to know what was going on any longer
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even though it seemed a bit rude/odd, etc. i passed it off as me talking/sharing too much & never really thought much about it - well, just a few days later, not knowing about the email i'd received, mom sent out a 'here's ruby, my new grand daughter!' email as ruby had just come home - mom ended up getting a matching email to mine, but they went on to tell her how they really didn't want to hear about ruby at all - she didn't let it rest, but instead, emailed them back, asking what the reason was for their decision, as it seemed a bit odd - they informed her [not their exact words] that they didn't care to hear about any of our children & that they were shocked that we'd name our new little girl ruby after my grandmother/memaw, as her name was ruby & she & i were very close [memaw's what we called her & she'd already passed at this point] - they also went on to say how they didn't feel she'd be pleased at all with us naming a 'black child' after her as she didn't like blacks at all
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mom, fueled at this point, stated that memaw [her mother] didn't have a problem with blacks at all & that memaw saw everyone as individuals & that she loved them all as she was a christian & was always striving to do as god would have her do - this went over like a lead balloon & the email basically ended in the same way it started...no more updates...period! - this was in '05 & we've not had contact with this person at all, except for 2 funerals we've attended & even though they spoke, it was very 'cold'
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well fast forwarding a bit...i was late getting our christmas letter out & finally did so just the other day [praise the lord] & by accident [i know it was a god thing], it printed off their address by mistake & i didn't catch it, so one was sent to them
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the voicemail: 'n' introduced themself & stated numerous times about how bad they felt for their actions in the past, things they've said & how they treated us - they said they hoped we'd forgive them & that they'd basically had a change of heart & hoped we'd not be mad at them - i mentioned how we've all said/done things we regret & that i still loved them - they said that they'd gotten another job a few years ago & wanted me to know they've even made some friends with some blacks - the other day, they were helping teach missionettes at their church & one of the scriptures was talking about how you don't let the sun go down on your wrath & 'n' thought of us & all that's gone on over the years & really began feeling bad about it - 'n' then got our christmas letter the next day & they've not felt good about it since - they said they've written me a letter 2 times now over the past couple days, but tore them both up, as they felt they owed it to me, to talk on the phone instead of me having to read their feelings
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they apologized over & over as i let them know how much they meant to me & how i hated not having contact with them for so long - their family's has a huge [that's an understatement] get together in the summer every year & we used to go, but when all this started, we stopped & haven't attended for several years - they personally invited us back & stated that it'd be an honor to them, for us to come bring all our kids as they really wanted to get to know them - they ended the conversation by letting me know that they truly felt that memaw would be proud of me & that she'd have enjoyed having ruby named after her
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all in all, i was floored, but saw how god had orchestrated the entire thing & for that i'm thankful - i love unexpected blessings [praise the lord]

Monday, January 5, 2009

- it's gotta get better...right? -

after reading my recent post here, you know that i've been feeling very frazzled [for lack of a better word] - well, last night spike stayed up working on paperwork for an upcoming meeting that was to take place today, out of town - i went on to bed, but he stayed up to get it ready - this meeting was very crucial as it's a project that he's already gotten [he's a project manager for government projects], but it was given to him by the last commissioners of that county - recently, the commissioners have changed & the new ones, don't want this project to continue [it has nothing to do with them vs. spike, they just don't want to let go of that much $ right up front since they're new to the commissioner offices]
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well, he didn't get to bed until after 4am & got up at 5 - when he went to get in his van, it wouldn't start [we never have trouble with any of our vehicles!!] - he pulled mine out, jumped his & took off...later than he needed to be [especially with this meeting being so important]
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well, i talked to him a few hours later & mentioned that i hated it about his car not starting this morning - he said, "oh lori, that's not the ½ of it!" - apparently, since he was in a huge hurry he was speeding [& that's soooooooo not him - he won't go over the speed limit for any reason...until today]
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well, not only did he get a ticket [yeah, add that right on to the bills!], but the police officer also had his van towed!!!!!! - we're to buy plates in september, but with adopting ahniér, we 'pushed the plates back a bit' & forgot about them!! - we're both driving on expired plates [no, really just me as he now doesn't have a van to drive!] - ugh, when it rains, it pours, but it's gonna get better...right?

Sunday, January 4, 2009

- have you ever felt... -

frazzled?? - yes, this' how i've been feeling lately - i feel i've got so much to do [most, with due dates] & nothing seems to be getting done
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i, along with angela, coordinate a haitian camp every year in february & here it is january 4 & i've not sent out the flier yet!!! - the date all reservations have to be in, is january 16 [eeek]
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i've got our family 'newsletter' done & it's been done for over a month, but i've still not gotten them printed & mailed out [it started off being a printer problem, now it's just a lazy thing i've got working] - here it's january 4 & these were to be our 'christmas cards' [eeek]
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we wanted to have ahniér dedicated at church & have been talking about it since she was born [she'll be 4 months old this thursday!], but haven't gotten it done yet - not only did we want it done, but we really, really wanted it done before dustins sentencing date, so all 6 of our kids could be there...just in case [eeek]
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i wanted to be caught up on bills by now [we were staying right on track for many years, but after we helped dustin out financially, adopted ahniér & moved, i've really gotten behind on our bills - it's not that we're in financial trouble or anything like that, but we're just...behind [eeek]
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mom, don't read the rest of this post or you'll hit the roof! - just stop now & go read someone else's blog...k? [smile] i wanted to get into my heart cardiologist [as some of you know, i'd open heart surgery when i was 18 - they replaced my heart valve & i've to go in for yearly checkups for them to monitor me as i'm on coumadin/blood thinner as my blood's got to be very thin to go through the mechanical valve that i've got in me] - well, i didn't go last november/2008 as things were just waaaaaaaaaay too hectic [i know, don't yell at me!] & here it's january/2009 now & they're usually on a 2-3 month 'wait' to get in - that wouldn't be all that big of a deal, typically, but i've been having chest pains for 3-4 days now [don't tell my mom cause like i said she'll hit the roof as she knows nothing of this...it's not like we all don't have waaaaaay more important things to think about at this time in our lives!] - it didn't bother me the first day, then the 2nd & 3rd days came & i was a bit more concerned, but got up today & it's still there - it's not even a tightness, like i've had over the years from time to time, this' more of a hurt??? - spike & brit are the only 2 that know - dustin came over this weekend & stayed all night & we all sat up until like 4 am playing euchre & had a wonderful time & there was nooooooooo way i was gonna miss out on that - i'm sure it's nothing & i'll be fine, but i'm calling tomorrow to set up an appointment for sometime in march hopefully - i know i could've said something to others & had them praying, but i know how many prayers are going up for our family right now & with god knowing me as he does, i knew he'd change a couple of those prayers over to cover me & my heart at this time - my heart's been breaking into a million pieces here lately [figuratively], but it's not break anymore [literally]
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well, that's about it, so i'll let you all get back to read more 'cheery' blogs!

- new update on dustin's sentencing -

i wanted to give an update on where things stand at this time with dustin & all that he's facing - you can go here to read the initial post where i gave details on how we got to where we are today - when the date came/went, there was a new day/time set that i posted about here, but even though the date's not changed, the time has - so, for the record, here's the correct information on the sentencing date & from what i've been told, you can put this down in ink! - please contine to be praying
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date: january 15, 2008
time: 1:30pm

Thursday, January 1, 2009

- snow white -

kiara's still working on improving her reading & had just finished reading a book downstairs - she came up & was telling me about it & suggested she read it to me
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i said, "sure" & then she let me know that they'd made a mistake in her book - i said, "a mistake...where?" - she said, "well, there's lots of mistakes, but the first one is on the front page, they didn't spell it right" - i read it to her..."snow white & the seven dwarfs" - she said, "yep, that's what i'm talking about, they didn't spell it right - they spelled it d.w.a.r.f.s. & it's supposed to be d.o.r.k.s. & then she smiled like 'see what i'm talking about!'
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i explained to her that it was really supposed to be d.w.a.r.f.s. & sounded it out for her very slowly [emphasising every syllable] - she smiled embarrassed like & said, "well, that's not i've been calling them all my life!!"