Tuesday, November 25, 2014


(And there is a prize involved!!!)

If you have been a Hamy blog follower for the past few months/years.  You know (and can see!) that Josie has gained a lot of weight in a short amount of time.

Now….some if was from the fact that she had a lot of catching up to do.  She weighed 44lbs and she was 42” tall when she came home at age 9. (Feb. 2012)


She now weighs 91 lbs and is 55” tall.


In Oct. 2013 she weighed in at 68 lbs.


June 20th, 2014 she weighed 83 lbs.


Aug. 8th, 2014 she weighed 84 lbs.


Nov. 17th, 2014 she weighed 91 lbs.


The seizures started in May 2013.  She was mainly put on Depakote.  We tried other medicines here and there but the consistent medicine for her epilepsy has been 750mg/twice a day.

Then she started showing signs of puberty. (Early! That is “assuming” her birthday of 1/30/03 is correct) and her period started in June 2014. And it would.not.stop.

(And with having a disabled child who can not take care of her “personal needs” she needs to be on some sort of birth control to control her period.  We have been advised that she shouldn’t do the depo shot yet as it affects bone density and since she is only “somewhat” ambulatory she would be at a greater risk of breaking a bone if she would fall….which wouldn’t be good and she falls often.)

So in June she started at the  lowest dose of a combo Estrogen/Progesterone pill.

That didn’t help stem the blood flow. At all.

Then we got Premarin approved (a high dose of Estrogen, which the pharmacist told me if this doesn’t stop it, nothing will. I chuckled at him and drove away thinking our “mess” was going to be taken care of….)

Well, that “magic” pill didn’t help either.

Then we tried a Progesterone only pill.

That didn’t help.

(So obviously the girl has some bleeding disorder at this point but the doctors don’t really seem to be “concerned” and just keep telling me that we need to find the right “pill” for her. Ugh.)

The only thing that somewhat helped stop the blood flow was when she would take TWO of the Estrogen/Progesterone pills at one time.

But insurance wouldn’t cover two pills a day. No matter how much our doctor argued and fussed at them. And taking two pills a day isn’t good for her.

So the doctor prescribed an “older” pill called: Ogestrel.  It has a higher dose of Estrogen in it and has progesterone too. And after a week of being on this pill she hasn’t had any bleeding since November 11th!!!


(But of course I had to fight the insurance for it as it isn’t “normal” for an 11 year old to be on this pill….but we won and they approved it for a year.)

Nothing has changed in Josie’s eating.  She eats 3 well balanced meals a day.  She can’t “sneak” food.  She is more active now than she would have been over the summer of 2013. 

And so I am concerned about this weight gain,as she can’t keep gaining like she has been!!! And so I took her in for a weight check on Nov. 17th. Around 9:00 that night I get the below email from our PCP. (She didn’t know we were in for a weight check, I just saw a nurse but something must have “stood out” to her and she emailed me right away. But when I read this email from our PCP doctor I was confused:

I think we need an appt to talk about Josie's weight. It could be as simple as she is less active and eating the same amount. I doubt it is her medications, but even if it is, Josie needs her OCP's and epilepsy meds.

My confusion lies in the fact that in ALL my research the side effects for Depakote and the birth control pill list WEIGHT GAIN.

And I know that when I was on the pill I gained weight.

So why would she say that she “doubts” it is the medication!?!?!?

So this is where you come in!!!!! Smile

My question to all of you is simple:

***Have you ever been on the birth control pill (or Depakote) and have you gained weight while on it?!?!?!

***And the follow up question is: IF you did gain weight by being on the pill do you think it was becuz you were more hungry so you ate more or did your level of eating/exercise stay the same and you still gained weight?

I will bribe you to help me……if you would please comment on this post with your BTDT experiences I would be forever grateful.  (Or email me at ljhtjl@embarqmail.com) I would like to take your first hand stories back to our PCP and share them with her when we meet in January.

Becuz to me….it just seems “obvious” that the (crazy) extra weight gain has been from her birth control pills or Depakote. Some of it I’m sure is from hitting puberty and some from just “catching up” from being so small.

And I agree with the doctor that she needs them….so not sure what the answer is. But would just love to hear from you!

For everyone who comments or emails me their BTDT story, I will put all the names in a hat and then the winner will receive a $25.00 gift card to Amazon!! 

(I just have one disclaimer: I need at least 25 people to respond in order to hold the contest, I want to have some “meat” to go to the doctor with! But since you all are SO WONDERFUL and AWEOSOME I’m sure I will be able to pick a lucky winner on Dec. 8th!)

THANK YOU for your BTDT stories and help. <3

(oh, and P.S.  I’m not looking for a book response….a simple sentence is great.  Just doing a survey. K’s response is a great example: No, I did not gain weight while on the pill.)

Sunday, November 23, 2014

T-day Part 1

So all the stars aligned and the earth stood still for an afternoon and we were all together for the first time this week! <3

(With 2 teenagers working  it is harder and harder to have suppers together.)

So when this anomaly happens I fully take advantage of this blessing and we enjoyed every minute we have with each other.

It is louder and it is crazier when all the feet are under the table but oh so worth it.

And I treasure these moments in my heart.

The kids “buddied up” and the big kids helped the littles do their Thanksgiving craft.


It just “happened” that they each buddied up from oldest to youngest.  Even though we adopted Lena first, Ava second and Josie third.


When we say “get with your buddy” they know who to go to.  Having “buddies” really helped us on our last trip to China when there were 8 of us traveling…..what a zoo that was! 

But we all made it home safe and sound….we did lose Logan for a bit in an underground walkway in Guiyang but thankfully it isn’t hard to spot a tall white boy in China so we were soon re-united.  But it was a bit a lot scary for those 5 minutes when I didn’t know where he was at!



We have much to be thankful for this year……Some leaves on our Thankful Tree say:

Daddy, Mommy, family,  Nurses, Boomer, Willow, Java, our woodstove and (cynical) little sisters.


And then since I had gotten my free turkey from Giant and we don’t need it for Thursday since my Mommy makes us a delicious meal SmileI cooked up a thanksgiving like supper for the gang.


Turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, broccoli and corn…..oh and don’t forget the Mud Pie.


Ava’s all time favorite.


Wait!  Where did it go?!!?!?


“I want a piece this big please!”


And don’t forget the pumpkin pie! Which only one of my sons eats the way I was raised….with King Syrup on top!!! Yum!


Jared does have to work on Thanksgiving…..he does love being able to serve the residents though and is so tender hearted towards them.  He won’t miss the main meal at lunch at Grandma’s so he won’t starve! Winking smile

But he does have off on Christmas which will be nice.  And Giant is closed on Christmas so all the kids will be here this year!!!! <3

It feels weird to be totally done Christmas shopping and it isn’t even Thanksgiving yet!  But this year I decided that I’m doing it ALL online.  Via Amazon.

I mean really, you can’t beat their prices and the stuff is delivered directly to my door.  I’m not into “crazy” this year and going from place to place.

So the packages have started to arrive and I’m getting excited…..

We are keeping it simple but meaningful.

And our new advent devotional came today which I’m excited to start:

Now to just figure out a good solution of keeping the puppy away from the Christmas tree…..that should be “fun.”

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Let my people GO!

Today we had the incredible blessing to go see Moses at Sight and Sound.

A friend works there and can get free tickets, but you only know the day of the show if there are seats left so we were flexible, but Elizabeth was able to get tickets for us for the 11:00 show today!!! (THANK YOU Elizabeth! <3)

And we were totally blessed and in awe of this magnificent show.


If you are looking for a special thing to do with your family this holiday season I would HIGHLY recommend this production. (It runs through April)

I was in serious awe over the set and costumes.  It was just mind boggling thinking about how they pulled all this off.

And so incredibly moving.

When Moses’ mother put him in the Nile and entrusted his life to God it was hard to keep the tears from forming.  When 3 of your kiddos lives started in a similar way, they were abandoned by their birth mothers in hopes that someone would find them and save them…..well, it is especially moving.

God’s hand of protection was upon Moses and He used him greatly.


And then how Sight and Sound handled the whole murder scene was very tasteful and then of course you have the plagues and the parting of the Red Sea….I won’t give any spoilers….but you felt like you were part of the miracle!

It is a REALLY well done show.

I honestly think I liked it better then Noah….which I didn’t think was possible.

And what was so neat was that we just got done reading about Moses’ story in the The Gospel Story Book, and since this was so spur of the moment it was just so neat that this story was fresh in the girls minds.  They sat so still through the ENTIRE 2.5 hour show.  It certainly captured their attention.

When the Israelites obeyed and put the sacrificed lamb’s blood over their doors and then when the Angel of death passed over it was just so powerful.

Moses’ story shows us that even when we mess up.  Even when we don’t obey.  God is loving and gracious and saves us. 

And Moses didn’t always obey.

But when God spoke to him in the burning bush (which was another REALLY neat part of the show!) and got his attention you realize how powerful and all mighty God really is.

That all we have to do is rely on the one who is the I AM.

Those 2 little words.


But are so powerful. So convicting.

And when God was writing the 10 commandments in stone it struck me that our generation aren’t the only ones who are falling into sin left and right!

God wouldn’t have had to make those 10 commandments if the Israelites weren’t sleeping around, cursing, murdering, stealing, coveting their neighbor stuff…..

An excerpt from the Gospel Bible Story:

“Do you know why God gave Israel and us the commandments? The apostle Paul said that God’s commandments, which we call the law, taught him what sin was.

He said that if God had not given us the law, we would not know what sin is. (Romans 7:7) You see, once we know God’s law and we see how many times we break it, we realize that we are sinners who need a Savior. That is where Jesus comes in.

How about you?

Have you broken God’s law? None of us can obey God perfectly. None of us except for Jesus.

When we put our faith in him, Jesus takes away our sin and gives us his perfect record of obedience.”

But what is our excuse then??? (other then we are dirty rotten sinners in need of grace!)

But unlike the Israelites who were only getting these laws for the first time….we KNOW the law….yet so many of us are continually falling into sin.

Yet, our Heavenly Father is so loving that all we need to do is ask for His forgiveness and He loves us so much that we can continue to have a relationship with the great I AM.

Now THAT is a great ending.

Monday, November 17, 2014


I strongly felt that God was directing me to rest more. 

And not just sleep more or sit down and take a load off more but a true rest of the body, mind and spirit.

Almost like a sabbatical.

So I made some major changes to our schedule.

Imagine with me for a moment….Imagine waking up every morning and coming down to an “acquaintance” in your kitchen.  Imagine having to make conversation with this acquaintance, all before coffee.  You know in your head that they are very needed and you are VERY grateful for their help….and one “acquaintance” is a true friend….but it is still hard having someone in your kitchen first thing every.single.morning.

*So I’m staying upstairs in the mornings longer and allowing the nurse to completely get Josie’s breakfast/do her med’s/get her ready for school, etc. Ava is happier and not raging anymore since she is having snuggle time with Mommy again in the mornings. And I am enjoying my cup of coffee by “myself”….ok, I still have 5 kids here but it is better!

*I have been very intentional with our calendar and what goes on it. 

*I have also started soaking in the tub (almost) nightly.

All these things (and others) have helped me regain some of my “mo-jo” back. 

I’m not 100% there yet.  These past 3 years have been h.a.r.d. and I won’t heal overnight.  It is going to take time.  And it is going to take being intentional with my heart and mind. To constantly keep the negative thoughts/overwhelming thoughts at bay and replace them with truths.

 The stress level of mothers of special needs kids has been compared to that of combat soldiers.

When I read this article and others lately it just hit me that I have been in a battle. That I’m fatigued and so totally worn out that I couldn’t go on anymore unless some major changes were made.

(But I don’t ever want to minimize a “true soldiers” battle though…that is different! But parenting a special needs child is similar in the same intensity, on alert all the time feeling.)

I have to admit I am happier.

And Josie is happier.  Having her period FINALLY stop this past week has been a huge improvement.  (This has been the longest stretch since June of no bleeding!)  Hopefully it will continue to be controlled on the higher dose birth control pill that we finally got approved.  I still think that is a “band aid” and something else is going on (she has gained 7 pounds in 7 weeks!?!?!) Yes, I’m concerned and documenting everything and will be going to the PCP in a month to express my concerns!  Her knees are buckling becuz of the extra weight.  And we control everything she eats and she isn’t “cheating” so we know it is the medicine and/or something with her thyroid/pituitary gland, so we aren’t “out of the woods” by any means but hoping the “calm” lasts a least a little bit.

And we have been having some really fun school days around here again.

The littles are just soaking up the knowledge and growing in their reading and math skills by leaps and bounds.

We walked up to our neighbors Alpaca Open House and the girls had fun feeding and leading the “Tacos” around.

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“Daddy, can I pllleaassese have a taco??”

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The girls named “their” Alpacas, TNT.

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Ava couldn’t WAIT to feed the Alpacas….You can tell by Lena’s stance and expression that she wanted nothing to do with this “fun” activity! lol

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We do enjoy watching these beautiful creatures romp around in their pens from our deck in the backyard. I’m just glad we don’t have to care for them!  Chickens are about all we can handle right now!

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Speaking of chickens….we still have 11 chickens. They are slowing down in their egg production but we haven’t had to buy eggs at the store yet.

Lena is enjoying learning how to crack the eggs and learning how to make omelets and dipping eggs for herself!

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And since we have puppy, who needs positive reinforcements all.the.time in order for her to go potty on the potty PAD and NOT on the floor, we started making our own dog treats.  Oh goodness.  What has this world come too??!?


The girls thought this was a hoot and have been telling everyone that they eat “dog treats” and Boomer couldn’t WAIT till these treats came out of the oven. Even though he is already “perfect” he gets some treats too for his good behavior.

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(and no, our dogs did not get whole wheat flour and natural peanut butter!  They got regular flour and regular old peanut butter!!)

It is supposed to be BITTER cold tomorrow….so you know where I’ll be.


Just being still and soaking in the heat from the woodstove.

And soaking in the love and sweetness of my family.

The Mighty One, God, the Lord,
speaks and summons the earth
from the rising of the sun to where it sets. Ps. 50:1


From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised. Ps. 113:3

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Thank you!

Many, many moons ago a young man decided that he was to join the Army National Guard.

He wanted to serve his country but also wanted to use the GI bill to go to college.

So he signed up and did his basic training, which just happened to be around the time when Saddam Hussein decided to become really evil.

(Our phone bill was CRAZY during that time.  This was the days before unlimited cell phone plans! He would have to call collect from Oklahoma.  Young love…..)

This would have been early 1990.

And so this strapping young man found himself to be on “stand by” to go over to Kuwait and fight a strange battle that had to do with oil and power.

Suddenly this whole Army thing got a lot more real and scary.


But then the US forces prevailed (read: kicked some serious Saddam butt) and this strapping young Army man did not have to go over to a foreign country.

(That would come later in life and would involve even more sacrifices then serving the Army ever did!)


So he continued on with his training and had to go one weekend a month and two weeks in the summer  for years.

And so a young lady had to go to her senior prom alone as the training weekend just happened to fall on the same weekend as prom night! Sad smile

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This young soldier was activated one winter during a really bad blizzard.  And this young bride had to stay at home, all alone, and keep the coal fire going. 

But then as fate would have it, the young solider didn’t end up using the GI bill to go to college….he was offered an apprenticeship to become a mechanic.

And as it turns out he turned out to be a really awesome mechanic and has served him well in his life.

(But there are days that he wishes he would have gone and gotten that 4 year degree.)

But God always provides and always opens doors for those who serve Him.

So to all who have served our country in one way or the other.