Here are a couple of videos of Josslyn fixing Ray's hair this morning.
I don't know if you could tell your not, but Josslyn said, "Baby, stop it!" Funny!
There was one more video, but it wouldn't let me upload it. Maybe I was at my limit. I'll try to put it in another post later today....
Weeeeeell, all that sandy sand in the sandbox got me in the mood for the beach last night.
So, we went to the beach today. The closest beach is about 30 minutes from our house, so it is very convenient for a little outing with the kids.
This is Josslyn this morning after she got herself all ready to go.
I'm not sure what I love more, the Minnie Mouse jacket over her swimsuit, the cowboy boots, or her mop of a hair-do. She is just too cute for words.
The sun was super sunny, so it was perfect beach weather.
Danil and Kellen, digging through the beach toys.
Kellen thought he'd have a better view from inside the wagon.
No, I don't tell them to pose like they adore each other.
Actually, I whip out the camera because they are so cute together.
I would not consider myself a laid back person in general. I am pretty much anal and uptight. But there are a few things that I am laid back about. Yes, that is Ray wearing ankle length leggins and a t-shirt, as opposed to a swim suit.
She couldn't find part of her swim suit this morning, so that is what she opted to wear. As long as she wasn't going to complain about it, I could care less what she wore.
Yes, they really really love each other.
I know my pictures aren't all that great, but first off, I'm not photographer, and secondly, since I had six kids going 5 different directions(the twins usually go the same directions), I only had a minute or two to snap some shots, then I put the camera up so that I could focus on the kid's whereabouts.
Here is a little pictures of Danil from this evening.
He has been sitting like this lately and I think that it is too cute.
Here are the four middle children after baths, meds, and teeth brushin'.
If we have extra time between getting ready for bed and family worship, then they can look at books.
I thought my little duckies were too sweet all lined up in a row, so I just had to take a picture.
Ok, now all my boys are asleep and my girls are nearly out too, so it is time for me to finally take a shower. Three of my kiddo's noses just started running. It just so happens that today we ran out of vitamin C and pro-biotics today, so tomorrow we are going to go to the local health food store and pick up some more vitamins....and maybe some herbal tea. And some fruit leather, just because that stuff is awesome.
As Danil would say, Night-Night!
P.S. I'm thinking that I'm going to do a Q and A post soon because I get alot of the same questions, so I figure that there might be alot of you out there wondering the same things that I get asked alot. So if you have any questions about our adoption, Down Syndrome, HIV, homeschooling, or how to get your husband to put his dirty clothes in the hamper, then just send 'em my way.
Well, all except the getting your husband to put his clothes in the hamper one.
The is Danil and Ray. They are all dressed for church, but neither have had their hair fixed.
They were sitting on the chair all snuggled up, so I just had to take a picture.
I know that there are a few of you who have asked how I get six kids out the door and to church on time(more than half the time by myself, due to Josh being a shift worker).
Here is how I do it:
After breakfast all kiddos get dressed for church. Everyone except Kellen can pretty much dress themselves, so I just lay out their clothes.
Once they are fully dressed, except for having their hair fixed, I usually turn on a movie and everyone sits down to watch it(except for that baby, of course).
While they are watching the movie I drink coffee, get dressed, make up, hair, the works.
About ten minutes before it is time to leave I fix everyone's hair. ALL my kids will waller(yes, waller is a word) around and mess up their hair if I allow them enough time to do so. So I fix each one's hair, and then they sit in the middle of the floor(so that they can't roll around on the couch and mess it up) until it is time to load up.
So there. That's how I do it.
It isn't hard once I figured out a system that worked for everybody.
Church was great this morning. I really was ministered to. I know that isn't necessarily what going to church is about, but today I needed it.
After church we went to my mom's for lunch. My mom lives about, eh, 100 yards from my grandparents(her parents), so after chuch we went over there for a swim. The kids loved it, as always.
By the time we got home from swimming it was too late for naps. You know the whole, if you nap 'em too late in the day they'll never go to bed thing? After we got home Daddy prepared a little surprise for the kids.
Aren't they cute?
And the surprise is a sandbox!!
Josh and I have been thinking that a sandbox is something that the kids would really enjoy, but we hadn't got around to building one. The other day I was over at my grandparent's house and I noticed the perfect looking frame for a sandbox in the neighbors trash. Yes, that's right, the trash. No, I am not above dumpster diving if need be. Anyway, with the help my PawPaw, I rescued the most absolute perfect sandbox frame. This afternoon, Josh put a mesh bottom on the frame to block the grass and weeds, and then filled it with sand. The kids seem to really like their new sand box.
Oh, yeah, that me and our new kitten. Stripes. Original, I know.
And just for your viewing pleasure, I thought I'd throw in another one of Danil. Because doesn't everyone love pictures of Danil???
In southeast Texas the only way to beat the heat during the summer is to either permenately plant yourself in front of a box fan.....or get wet. Luke, Ray, and Kellen are waterbugs, so I was very pleased to learn that Alik, Danil, and Josslyn love the water also! Our family loooooves the beach. We are also very blessed that my grandparent's have a very nice swimming pool in their backyard. We ALSO live very close to TWO super fun(and FREE) spray parks. Needless to say, my kiddos are playing in the water, in some form or fashion, almost every day of the week. Most days, they play on the slip-n-slide. Josslyn is slightly skiddish of the water and has been the slowest to warm up, but the slip-n-slide is the perfect speed for her.
Each of my kids has their own preffered way to play on the slip-n-slide.
Luke likes to actually use the slip-n-slide for its intended purpose: running and sliding down it.
Danil prefers to army crawl down the slip-n-slide, and then get up and run down to do it again.
Ray and Alik usually have some sort of plan as to what they want to do on the slip-n-slide that day. Filling up buckets with waters, drinking well water(which daddy put a stop to), splashing each other, etc.
Josslyn and Kellen are the wild cards. You just never know that they might be doing.
No matter which kid, they all love the slip-n-slide!
Here are a few pictures from one day playing on the slip-n-slide.
Everyone, except for Luke(he wasn't here that day).
Danil kinda looks like he is striking a pose.
Yep, Ray is drinking the water in the background.
You know she is working hard when that tongue is hanging out.
I think Danil is trying to beat her!
Passing up his sister(She isn't putting up much of a fight, though.).
Is that the look of victory??
Yep, I'm one happy feller.
I'm pretty sure that the baby doesn't have a diaper on AND his onsie isn't snapped.
Sheesh! What kind of mom am I?!
That's all for tonight folks!
Stay tuned for random pictures of the Carlin kiddos at play....
I know I've been just plain terrible at blogging lately. Down right bad. While I have been less overwhelmed, since I started trying to make the choice to NOT be overwhelmed, I am still very limited on "extra" time, so I am trying to keep my priorities straight. Once things are all prioritized, blogging usually falls under the line of things that must get done on any given day. Not to mention, that the END of the day is usually the only time that I actually have the opportunity to blog, and the majority of the time I am way to tired to put my thoughts into words that would make rational sense. I just so happens that the stars have aligned tonight so that I have the opportunity to blog. Since this opportunity is unexpected, I have mentally prepared a blogging topic. In light of all that, I guess I'll talk about the kid's doctors appointment yesterday.
Yesterday Alik, Danil, and Josslyn had their first appointment at Texas Children's Hospital. For those of you who aren't locals, Texas Children's Hospital(TCH) is the leading children's hospital in Texas(those in the Dallas area might argue this, but the fact remains, it is. *wink*). Anyway, we got there at 8:30am and didn't leave the hospital until 3pm, so it was a long day, but we got alot accomplished. The kids did amazing. They were such troopers. My sister live in Houston(which is where TCH is), so we spent the night with her on Wednesday night. This was my first overnight trip with all six kiddos, so I was slightly nervous, but things couldn't have gone smoother. My sister has 4 sweet kids of her own(in the same age range as my kids), so it took a little planning to figure out the sleeping arrangements. My old kids(can I reffer to my bios as my old kids and not offend anyone??) are used to spending the night at my sister's house, but I was nervous how my new kids would manage the different scenery. Since we have been home, they have spent every single night at our house and in their own beds, so I wasn't sure what they would think about sleeping on pallets at Nana's. They shocked me and acted like they have been doing this their whole life. I don't really know why I was shocked though, because they seem to handle every new situation that way. I think they are pretty much to the point where they feel safe in almost any situation, as long as we are doing it as a family. I guess since Alik was in a sleeping bag on the floor between Luke and Ray, and Josslyn and Danil were on a pallet next to the bed I was sleeping on, made everyone feel safe. They sure are troopers.
On Thursday I took my new kids to their appointments at TCH and Hannah(my sister) took my other kids to VBS with them. Since we were there for 6 and a half hours, I can't cover everything that we did, but I'll try to hit the highlights.
First off, the doctor was great. The first thing(after height and weight) was the doctor assessed their developmental level. I, personally, don't put a lot of stock in a strangers assessment of my children's development, I think that she was mostly right. Except for the part where she assessed Alik's verbal skills on a 4 year old level. That kid is AHEAD on his verbal skills, not behind(and No, I'm not just saying that because I'm his mom). The reason she did that though, was because we had a Russian translator there and when he tried to talk to Alik in Russian he complete froze up. His eyes glazed over, he shut down, and he wouldn't so much as make eye contact with the translator. His verbal skills definitely got a bad rap. Oh well. Josslyn didn't really want to talk to him either, but she would follow his commands(draw a circle, etc.). Danil is the only one who would chat with him. Imagine that. Danil is my little social butterfly. That kiddo will talk to anyone. It was interesting that the translator actually knew what he was saying though. We kinda just though that Danil was babbling, not really saying anything in english or russian. But when the translator asked Danil what color a red bead was, Danil said that he didn't know. Wow. That really gives me hope for communication with him in the future.
After the developmental part, the doctor examined them all. It was quite a sight. First she lined them all up on the examining table. Alik. Danil. Josslyn. And then me. You know that mama just has to be up on the table, right? As soon as the doctor lifted up Alik's shirt to listen to his heart, Danil and Josslyn lifted up their shirts so that they were ready and waiting. We all cracked up. After she listened to their hearts she listened to Alik's back. Danil and Josslyn immediately turned around on the table so that she would have easy access to their backs. Once again, we all cracked up. The hilarity continued. Everything she did to Alik, the other to were prepped and ready for. It was very entertaining to watch.
After the physicals, came the shots. I brought the kids Ukrainian shot records. There were a few shots that they needed to be caught up to where they would be in America. We are exactly vacciniation people. I don't bring that up to be a point to be argued(basically because you aren't going to change my mind....). I bring it up to explain how that fact made my kids getting shots all that harder. Danil got 5. Alik got 4. And Josslyn got 3. It wasn't fun for them, and it was even less fun for me. I had to hold them down, even though Josslyn is really the only one who needed it. It was so not fun. The nurse even had to stop towards the end and ask if I was ok to continue.
Danil got his shots first, then Alik, then Josslyn. The doctor came back in the room while Josslyn was getting her shots and Danil told her off. He started talking and shook his finger at her and then pointed to his legs, and then he pointed to her again and pointed to Alik and Josslyn, all the while he was jabbering. It helped to lighten the mood.
After shots was blood work. Luckily, they put numbing cream on the kids arms before hand, so they didn't even so much as wimper while they had their blood drawn. Good thing too, since they had 8 viles drawn a piece. I was also sent home with orders for more blood work. It was too much blood to be drawn out of Josslyn's tiny body in one day. So they just split it up in to 2 draws. I'm bringing them to a local lab on Monday to have the rest drawn. I also have the joy of gathering stool sample. 3 different samples for each child. If you do the math you will see that I have the pleasure of getting 9 different stool samples. Right now I'm at one. This should be fun. I really don't mean to complain though, because I like the fact that they know what they are doing and are checking them out from tip to tail.
HIV: I learned several different new things about HIV. I've done alot of research, but some things just need to be explained by a doctor. And,(for a mama), I just need to hear them for a doctor, instead if just reading them. The doctor was great, very knowledgeable and very informative. In a nutshell, she said that if Alik and Joss's blood levels stay the same as they are now, that they are looking at a completely normal life. They are not at a higher risk for any illness, cancer, or disease that any other person in the general population. They are also fully able to have full and long lives, full of marriage, sex, and makin' babies. Their life expectancy is that of any other person on the planet. When they get the sniffles, if is just that, the sniffles. Nothing more to be worried about.
While all the things she said, were pretty much things that I have read, it was really good to hear it from a doctor. And not just any doctor, but someone who specializes in this field. I know that doctors err on the side of caution, so to hear it straight from the horses mouth was quite a relief.
Overall, the day was filled with lots of great news. The doctor thought that the kids were doing amazing. She is super impressed with Danil's developmental level. And she was very impressed with how bonded the kids are to me. At the end of the day I was one tired, but very proud, mama. Our doctor said that we were her most favorite family ever. And then at the lab, the nurse said that my kids were the best kids she had ever drawn blood from. I'm not kidding when I say that all three of them laughed at some point during their blood draw. It might have been because mama climbed up in the tiny chair with them, but regardless, they were laughing, when the kids in all the rooms around us were screaming bloody murder. My kids are awesome. I'm still not sure what I ever did to deserve them. That is just God's grace at it's finest.
Well, now that I've written too much and stayed up too late, it is time for me to go to bed. Hopefully, I will have the opportunity to blog again soon, but I'm not making any promises.
So yeah, it's Father's Day and all, but I am in no way prepared to do a Father's Day post, so instead I'll do something thing quick and easy while I have a few precious blogging minutes to spare.
Alik is amazing. He is some sort of wonder-child. Seriously. One day I may share the depths of the doubts that Josh and I had about him in the first few weeks of knowing him. I'll just do a super quick wrap up and say that God is super good, because if this had been the "Jessica Show" and not the "God Revealing His Awesomeness Show", then Alik would probably be still sitting in an orphanage in Ukraine. Luckily, I am smart enought to know that I am super dumb when it comes to understanding God's ways. Anyway, for now I am going to tell a little of how he amazes me.
If I could describe Alik in one word, I would say "sponge". That guy absorbes e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. No kidding. He english is amazing too. Here are some phrases he has picked up completely on his own:
-I know, baby.
-I'm sorry, baby.
-I love you.
-Sit down at the table.
-Stop it, Kellen.
-Baby sleeping. Shhhhhush. Be Quiet.
-Put your shoes on.
-Wash your hair.
The kiddo is an English machine. There are many other single words that he knows. I would list them, but you would honestly get bored reading the list of all the words that he can say. And then if I were to add to it all the words/phrases that he understands, then that would be pretty much neverending. He awesome, and not just because of the language thing. He is just pretty much awesome in general. On a funny note, I don't know if I have shared or not that Alik is a major thumb sucker. I haven't had to deal with this before, since all my bio kiddos took pacifiers, as opposed to sucking their thumb. Anyway, Josh and I didn't want to break the habit right off the bat, since it is probably a major comfort to him and he has had so many life changes, as of late. But lately, we have been gently trying to get him out of the thumb-sucking habit. About a week ago, Alik and Ray made up a song that they will chant at any time of day, if Alik accidentally puts his thumbs in his mouth. It's hilarious. I have to admit that I am one blessed mama. My kiddos are amazing.
Sorry for the blogging lapse the past few weeks, life has just been so consuming that even though I have TONS that I could be writing about, I just can't seem to find the time. The kids are all still doing awesome. The transitioning and adjusting is going great. I have volumes I could write about it all, but for now I will just do a quick catch up.
We started to work on the flooring in our house and it has completely thrown me off. Messiness stresses me out(although you would never know it to look at my house!). I knew that changing the flooring ourselves was going to be a messyish(that's a word, right?) project, but we needed new flooring. Bad! We don't have a garage and our driveway is gravel, so that means all kinds of dirt, mud, and chicken poop has been tracked in to my house daily for the past 4.5 years. As much as we have tried to train Luke and Ray to wipe their feet and check their shoes before coming inside, they still forget at times. Heck, I even forget sometimes. Needless to say, we needed some cleaner floors, and with 6 kids, carpet was not going to be one of our options. So we decided on laminate and got the supplies. That was two weeks ago, and so far we only have the living room done , but I am completely in love with it. No more stressing about dirt getting tracked in on the floor. It's just glorious. We have run in to some issues with the sub-flooring though, so that is why we are stalled right now. So now I have about a million boxes of laminate and tools stacked up in the living room. I spent about a week feeling grouchy and overwhelmed and I just couldn't pin point why. The kids were still doing exceptional and there were no other major life issues that had arisen, yet I was still constantly overwhelmed, which always leads to me being very grouchy, short tempered, and over all just irrational(sounds like a fun person to live with, eh?). I also realized that our little home improvement project had the misfourtune of coinciding with "Aunt Flo's" monthly visit. Before her regularly scheduled monthly visits, Aunt Flo tends to make me irritable and tired(which makes me irritable also). Sheesh!
Once I realized what an un-fun person I was to be around, I decided I was going to be different. I made the choice to not let me surrounds determine my attitude. I also made the choice to take charge of my surrounding, instead of letting it control me. I tend to be a bit of a perfectionist, so if I know that I can't do something the way that I want it done, or if I don't have the time to do it absolutely perfectly, then I just forget it all together. For example, the inside of my fridge has been in desperate need of a good cleaning. Several juice spills and other miscellaneous drips and spills have left the inside sticky and nasty. It has been driving me nuts for weeks, but I just haven't had the time to take EVERYTHING out and clean it. So a few days ago I made the choice to not let it get to me anymore. I had the time to give one shelf and one drawer a good cleaning, so I did that. And then I made the decision that I wasn't going to let the other shelves and drawers that were still dirty bother me. I would get to them when I could get to them, but until then I would have to be satisfied with what I could do. It's a choice for me. Letting go of things that bother me just doesn't come naturally to me. But I can honestly say that I feel so much better now. And as it turns out, choosing to not allow myself to be stressed has made me infinitely more productive. I've been chipping away at projects and messes here and there and have see improvments. Whereas, my normal self doesn't take on a project unless I can see it through to completion. That is how I get a mountain high stack of papers that need to be filed, instead of just filing a few here and there, I usually wait until I have the time to sort through them all and file everything. Then the stack grows and grows to the point that no normal person would have time to file them all in one sitting. I am realizing that I am my own worst enemy. But now that I know who the enemy is, I can beat her. I can get inside her head and mess with her game plan. *wink*
Now it is time for me to go. I need to clean another shelf or two in the fridge or fold a load of laundry before the kids wake up from their naps. I won't leave you without an quick up date on the kids.
Alik: He's learning english like crazy. He is seriously the most helpful child I have ever known. He amazes me more every single day with his capacity to learn.
Danil: We moved him to a pack-n-play to see if being in a confined space helps his sleeping issues. While it has solved the issue of me worrying about him during the night, there are some other issues that have arisen because of it. More details on that later, but I will say that the overall sucess of the pack-n-play has led us to decided to put him in a crib.
Several of you have commented on likely his spikey hair. I like and too and Danil LOVES it. Everytime he sees me coming towards him with the hairspray he gets a huge grin on his face. He smiles the whole time I am fixing his hair and then giggles when I am done. He knows he is handsome.
Josslyn: I swear I gave birth to that girl. She has the temperment to be a biological child of mine through and through. She is a delightful mess. She is so many things that I didn't see in her the first few weeks at the orphanage. She is a jokester, and a clown, and drama queen. She likes to sing and dance and have every single one of her 9,000,000 boo boos kissed. She demands attention, positive or negative.
Ok, now I really need to go before nap time has completely come to a close without me accomplishing anything at all. Well, besides blogging.
Today marks 3 years since Treyson was born. Part of me wanted to do a huge birthday post, where I finally tell his birth story. But, while time may help heal wounds, there are some wounds that go so deep, that even time can't totally mend them. I am sure that I will tell about all the emotions of the day he was born at some point, but today is not that day. In all honesty, it will probably be some random day when I feel like allowing myself to be strong enough(or weak enough) to fully go back to that place. For now I will say that his third birthday is finally starting to feel like 3 years. On his first birthday, I was still just surviving. Ray ended up being very sick with rotovirus at that time and ended up being hospitalized. It was sorta a blessing in disguise, to distract me from the pain of what should have been my baby's first birthday. Treyson's 2nd birthday was much harder. He should have been 2. All moms know what it is like to have a 2 year old. It is a very fun and frustrating time, all wrapped up into one. Two years olds are so darn cute, so that makes up for the difficult stage they all go through at that time. I felt the pain of not being able to have the 2 year old that I should have. Kellen was about 4 months old, so I felt that missing gap between Ray and Kellen.
His third birthday is different. It's still hard, I won't lie about that, but I finally feel like some time has passed. I am also starting to see more and more the GOOD that has come from Treyson's short life on this earth. Josh and I have discussed several times, that if it wasn't for Treyson we would have probably never have adopted. Treyson changed our lives so drastically that adoption would have never been on our radar before that. Treyson was the game changer. Treyson brought us to our knees in complete surrender. Treyson's one hour life on this earth has served a bigger purpose than some people accomplish in 75 years.
Happy birhthday, Treyson. I love you, my sweet brown-haired baby. Your presence is still missed. And mourned. But I can see that God had an amazing plan for your life. While we still wish you were here, our family has joyfully welcomed 4 additions that it probably wouldn't have otherwise(Kellen, Alik, Danil, and Josslyn). God is good.
I come to you very heavy hearted today. I know that since I have gotten home with the kids my posts have been short on words, but overall lighthearted and happy. That is because that is how we have been around here. Sure there are moments of stress and irritation and feeling overwhelmed, but overall, life is a joy and things are going great.
Today I am burdened for the ones I had to leave behind. The children whose faces cross my mind ever so often. I've been so busy, and life has been so good, that the majority of my thoughts of the children we met in the orphanages have been happy thoughts. Good memories of their sweet little faces. My life, while not perfect, is going well and full of happy kiddos, so way muddy all that up with unhappy thoughts of the children I am unable to bring home? Seems kind of pointless. Why cry over something I am powerless to fix? So I have been better off to put the inevitable fate of those precious children out of my mind. Until last night.
Last night I was on the internet doing some reading about HIV medications and I stumbled upon THIS link. The article address the upcoming shortage of HIV meds in Ukraine. I had heard rumblings of this on the Reeces Rainbow yahoo group, but after JUST being in Ukraine and seeing how consciencious the orphanage was about the kid's thier medications I had a hard time believing that there was about to be a shortage. The article completely opened my eyes. If you chose to read it, you might find that the claims of government corruption could not possible be to the extent that the article states. Unfortunately, I can assure you that it is. During my time in the Ukraine, I had more than one Ukrainian tell me that their country was better off under the Soviet regime because of the deep corruption that controls every government office now. It might sound fictional that their are people that can sit back and turn a blind eye while children are dying all around them, but it is true.
After reading the article I was angry. Furious to be exact. Livid to think of all the children that will be dying, largely due to evil people. The epitomy of evil. But my angry quickly melted into saddness when my thoughts turned from masses of children dying in a preventable way, to the individual faces of the children with HIV that I met, played with, got to know, and fell in love with while I was in Ukraine. They aren't simply masses of children, they are faces I know. They have names. Lori, James, Rafferty, Annabell. And they have personalities too. Sweet and playful. Rowdy and outgoing. Happy and friendly. Loving and tender.
These children, along with the many other children in these orphanages with HIV, will soon be sick without their medications. They will go from being healthy normal kiddos, to children dying of AIDS. No hope. No health. No family. And no one that has ever taught them about Jesus.
While in Ukraine I was broken hearted when I thought of the orphans who age out of the system with no family and no hope for a life or future. My heavy heartedness goes so far beyond that now. If this medication shortage continues Lori, James, Rafferty and Annabell will never even get the chance to age out of the system because they will be dead by then. It is the nature of the virus if left untreated.
All these thoughts and emotions hitting me at once last night felt like too much to bear. I can't fix the corruption in the government. The only solution is for Jesus to return. So that is what I started praying for. Lord, please come quickly.
Please join me in praying that God will move a mountain and somehow get medicaion to the children and adults who will die without it. Also, pray that God will provide families for these children who have very little long term hope for a future, even WITH medication. And pray that I won't go insane thinking about the children that I know and love getting sick. It was hard enough to say good-bye and walk away from their sweet faces when they were happy and healthy. My mind can only tip toe around thoughts of them being sick.
Also, if you would like to read/watch a little more about the fate of the children who live on the streets in Ukraine, then go here. Warning though: Some of the images and information is very hard to see. And once your eyes have been opened it is very hard to shut them again and turn away. Even if at times you want to.
First and foremost, I am a daughter of the King, the wife to one awesome man of God, and the mom to seven blessings. I am also a homeschooling, baby wearing, loss of a child surviving, Jesus loving, chicken farming, adoption advocating, frugal living, cloth diapering, baby food making, sweet-herbal-green tea drinking, sometimes cranky, exercising, healthy eating, book reading, list making, pro-life activist. At this blog you'll find my day to day adventure of how I surrender all aspects of my life to the Lord.