Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Today we feel yucky!

Good evening everyone!
Well, we offically are all sick! We have Viral Pnuemonia. Where we got it from....who knows!All I know is that it is aweful! I wish that we could just go one month without being sick!

Okay..finished ranting. Now, we want everyone to know that we are not ignoring our family and friends but you all should know that we are still trying to figure out life with this new diagnosis. We have to walk on eggshells pretty much all of the time and when we have quiet time we try to spend that time just Me, Kevin and God(and the Bible). If we even for one day forget to pray or praise him, or just even decide that sleep is much more important...then we have a REALLY BAD DAY!!! We know it is not from Him. We know that we depend on Him for strength,peace, hope and love. When we dont ask we dont recieve. We become very cranky, short and ugly with each other. So when we dont call or return your emails/voicemails, it's really not you. It's the fact that we have spent every ounce of energy trying to live a semi-normal life and not only that but to give honor and praise to our Father for his continuous blessings everyday through prayer which can take some time. (It is totally worth it though)

Well we are off to bed now! Have a blessed evening and a wonderful day until next time.....

kevin and jacki smith

Monday, September 29, 2008

School Pictures

My baby girl is having her very first school pictures taken today! This is a milestone in her life and now we will have a picture for her "School Memories Book"! She is just growing up so fast! When she left for school this morning it kinda hit me...she is not a baby anymore. I have to let her little personality develop and pray for her to make good decisions and have great friends. Anyways here is a before school pictures pic:

Update on Danielle's day:

She is doing well today. She also is starting to understand that she has this disorder and is having a lot of questions. I am really bad about telling her exactly what is going on and I know that I should but it's hard for me to understand it all so how can I expect her to understand. Everyday I pray for strength and peace for our family but especially for me. I want to be able to live a normal life and I know (this sounds really selfish) that will never happen for us. I feel like I have failed at family life. I really wished I would have been able to make it to the Family Driven Faith Confrence 2 weeks ago. I think that would have helped us tremendously! Our friends Chris and Shelley are a remarkable couple and have a wonderful family. They have unshakable faith in our Lord and I think that if I had that, this diagnosis would have been a little easier to swallow. I continue to follow there blog for a daily dose of Family Driven faith! Thank you guys! You are awesome! Elliana's Life continue to touch me and remind me everyday of God Love and Promises to us!
Praise to our Lord and Saviour!
kevin and jacki smith

Sunday, September 28, 2008

The weekends prove to be difficult...

Good morning friends and family!
Well I wish I was in better spirits today and could bring everybody a positive entry. But because we have a really bad time on the weekends with Danielle we usually are just finished by this time in the weekend. Anyway, Kevin and I have been reading a lot of parenting Bipolar children books and we are feeling a lot more confident in parenting and handling her mood swings and her meltdowns. They have given us a lot of hope and understanding of what she is going through and how we can help. We are also really starting to see the Hand of God working in our favor through this whole thing. We havent been able to find a home church yet and eventually when we do we feel it will be an enormous help.

For now though we are hanging in there. We dont have a "normal" life but we try to keep it as "normal" for Rylie as we can and we try help Danielle understand that she is still loved and that we would not change her or anything about her. God has given her to us and we believe that she is a precious gift from Him. Our prayer is that she will understand/know that we are going to get her through this and we are going to help her understand her diagnosis and when she has any questions we hope that she will feel like she can come to us and ask them.

Danielle knows that we have a "TEAM DANIELLE" helping! We have all kind of specialists and therapists, teachers and family who love her dearly and are dedicated to being there for all of us but most importantly, Danielle. She feels very special and is excited about this.

Well, I cant be away from the girls for much longer because of safety issues but I will keep everyone up to date on the progress we continue to make. Please pray for confidence for Kevin and I, Peace for all of us, and understanding for the doctors and therapists handling Danielles severe case. Thank you all. WE love you!

The Lord will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring. Isaiah 58:11 NLT

(We find hope and Peace in this verse)

kevin and jacki

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Parent-Teacher Confrence

Good evening everyone!
Well I just thought that I would share a little about the confrence we just had with Danielle's Kindergarten teacher. Basically she is doing very well in school and is really retaining a lot of what she is learning. She enjoys all of the "Centers" that they do in the mid-morning time and she loves going to the library. We are happy and thankful for that. She is also very shy but has many friends. Overall she is doing awesome!

On a another note: We have had a better week this week. Her behavior has been better controlled and the counseling seems to be working. We have also implemented a new behavior modification plan and that really helps her identify the feelings that she is having and the consequences of her actions. We can now help her through her bouts of anger and frustration. We believe that our Father has had His Hand in every aspect of this situation and we continue to sing praises to Him! We are so blessed to have such a Loving and All-Knowing Father! He knows what we need and when he needs to remind us that He is still near. I wish I was better at quoting the Bible, but I know it says that in the Bible somewhere and I am thankful for that!

We want to thank you all for your prayers and concern and we will keep you all updated on how everything develops from here...until next time....

Happy Fall Y'all!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Our Summer Vacation

This summer we went on our very first family vacation without anybody else in the family. It was very exciting! So I will share our most funny moments!

Here the kids are riding the merry-go-round:

The Flamingo's were really stinky!

Then Danielle got to ride a pony:

And when it got really hot we went into the aquarium:

and then it started to rain really hard:

SO then we went bak to our hotel where we had fun with the shower caps!

Danielle at "Little Gym"

I know I said that I would post some pics of little gym and I have totally been lagging on that so I thought I would very quickly add t hem to our blog! I hope you enjoy!!

It wouldnt be complete without Rylies playtime at Little Gym....so here she is!

Welcome Fall!!!

On a lighter note than last time....I am totally loving Fall right now! I love that it reminds me of California in the early summer. I love that it is not humid as anything and that it is starting to get darker a little earlier everyday so me and my hubby can snuggle on the couch after an earlier bedtime for the girls! Oh my goodness! I just love it!

And regaurding Danielle...We had an appointment with MUSC Children's Behavioral Health and the Psychitrist and it was reassuring. We dont have to use medication at this timw if we dont want to. There are certain vitamins that she can take that help with the manic episodes. And then she will have weekly thearpy sessions with her wonderful therapist "Mrs. Elizabeth"! I am definitely not as stressed as before and I am starting to learn what the triggers are and how to handle these "meltdowns" as they call them. I think of them as explosive tantrums but hey what ever. Anyway she is doing very well (today anyway) and we will continue to pray for better days than we have had. We have given this to God and we believe that he will guide us and support us in the way he would want us to deal with this situation. Praise God for all of the blessing he bestows upon this family!

Rylie...Oh Rylie! What can we say??? She is our little stink! she has proven to be a little more than hard to handle with all the attention having to be on her sister the last couple of weeks. She does funny things like read the newspaper and then tear it up so we cant read it. She throws food everywhere! I mean I clean my kitchen multiple time a day just to keep up with the mess. She thinks this is funny! She runs everywhere! You will hardly ever see her walking. We try to tell her to walk but that sounds kinda funny considering she laughs at us when we tell her that. We dont think that she understands half of what we say to her and if she does then she is doing whatever she wants to.

Kevin...my lovely husband. He has had to be very understanding and soft when he handles me. I will be first to admit that I have been really grouchy lately. Kind of in a "poor me" kind of way. I know that sounds horrible but I cant help it. I am mad at this stupid "genetic pre-dispostion" word. What does that mean anyway?? And why would a doctor tell me that?? Isnt there a sugar coated way to tell someone it is there fault that their child is Bipolar?? Well I am still dealing with it in my own way so until then my precious and goofy husband will just have to continue to be understanding. I love you honey!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Walking on eggshells....

When do you reveal the "big secret"? When is okay to let people in and share your struggles with them? When can we ask why?

It feels as if we are all alone in this struggle with our precious five year old. No one ever believes us when we share the things we are going through. We have just realized that we have our GOD. Our Father. We have had to trust that He will give us the strength and support that we need to get through this. The only thing that gets me through everyday is that we have hope that what they claim is wrong has not been officially diagnosed. I am having a hard time with this whole thing. There is hardly any research that defines what is going on with her and there is hardly any support groups for it. Why?? Is it so hard to believe that a chid can have things go wrong with them mentally?? Why is it that when we take our children out in public and they have a meltdown way out of thier control and certainly out of ours that we get looks and unsolicited advise on how to raise/discipline our child???

We have so many questions that we cant even begin to share because we are ashamed of what we are going through and we are scared that if people knew how she really acted they would never have us over to play or let their chidren come to play with her. So now we have to live this secretive life and walk on eggshells as to not disrupt the very child who we are afraid of. The explosive rage that results in a devestating day. Her baby sister is terrified of what she might endure. We have to hover over her all day to make sure that she is safe and she is terrified to ride in the car with her because that is where most of the abuse takes place.

For now I guess we will continue to pray for Gods hand to touch every person in our family, the doctors, and social workers that help her deal with this horriable, awful and dibilitating illness. We know that our dreams of a normal life have come to an abrupt stop. But then is there even such a thing as "normal"???

Off to the battle grounds....