Saturday, February 25, 2017

Going out with a Blast

Today is the last day my business will be open and we are going out with a blast. Between last night and today I expect at least a hundred kids will come through our doors to paint. 

I had one party last night and three birthday parties today as well as an open paint tonight.

All the canvases for the parties have been prepped.

I am excited to be able to teach this painting to some girls this afternoon. It was so much fun to paint.

I admit, I am going to miss it. I have had so many people in the community come up to me upset that I am closing. Last night they tipped me $90. I told her she didn't have to, she said it was because I fit her in a brought the glitter. We are not closing for financial reasons. We have gotten so busy, that is not the issue. Perhaps the opposite is true, we have gotten so busy and Tasha retired. She is coming out of retirement for today though! I haven't been able to find anyone to help and wouldn't really care to deal with the business aspect of hiring someone anyways. I have had some moms volunteer to help but I don't want to go down that route either. Besides, right now the home front needs me full time. I have one child I am struggling with and the promise of more.

I have to clear out the shop by the 1st and we also have the fire inspection on the 28th. But first, we have to paint and celebrate!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017


I get easily distracted. I have been working on our attached garage. Purging the unattached garage was easy. Stuff that had been stuffed in there had been sitting there a very long time. Stuff in the attached garage is more recent and more likely stuff that I don't want to get rid of.

Then comes along a distraction. We got a new kitty. It has been a while since Pooky Bear passed away and I was ready for a baby. We seem to do so much better with cats. She is already litter box trained. We still haven't named her, we aren't even she it is a her. Any name suggestions?

Another distraction, keeping that grandbaby fed. He loves to eat.

Tuesday and Wednesdays we have Vaida. She sure is a character and we all love her to bits.

What could be cuter, toddlers and kittens.

Orthodontist appointments keep me going. They want to put braces on Emma and back on Michelle. Honestly, I am making payments on two sets of braces now (already paid for phase one of Michelle's) and am not prepared for 4 orthodontist bills at this time.

I am still running the shop. Next weekend with be the last. I have a lot of people who are not happy with me. This last Saturday we had parties from 10:30 am to 9:30 pm. This coming weekend the parties start on Friday night and we are double booked for several party times. I have had to bring Tasha out of retirement for the final day. As I am decluttering the garage, I am trying to take down my shop. A challenge.

Saturday after painting all day I came home to the garage. I am trying to make a sewing/painting/playing area. My garage just isn't big enough. Then it came to me, make a small elevated play area for Benjamin. His toys are different than the older kids stuff. I went to sleep with the idea and woke up Sunday with it still brewing. By Monday it had totally fermented. John and I had a date planned so we did lunch and a movie. Then comes the big distraction, when we got home I went to Lowe's.

John helped me cut the pieces of wood. Normally he stays out of the way as he knows once I get an idea I don't stop. However, this time he helped.

After a few hours we had this built. Yes, the railing goes all the way up. It will prevent problems with climbers and kids throwing stuff down.

I remembered I had some lights in the garage pile and went to bed with this loft area built.

This morning I got going early for a doctors appointment and stopped at Lowe's on the way home (I went to Lowe's for various projects 6 times in 3 days).

I needed to design a ladder that was toddler safe but didn't take too much room. You can see this space from the kitchen and dining room table.

I have some fine tuning to do before it is completely done. He loves it. Actually, all the kids do, I have caught all of them up there playing with cars. Today I brought home some pieces from the shop, not everything will fit but I am using what I can.

The purge continues....with a few distractions.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

In the News

The local news station that wanted to do a story on adoption/foster care contacted us about rescheduling our story. We agreed to try again for Monday. They came out and interviewed us.

I think that they did a good job editing the story. Seriously it could have gone two ways, the positive story they did or a story about why you would never want to have any children at all. Vaida was fussing, Noah was fussing, lots of noise and chaos.

Regardless, if you are curious, the story is here

Thursday, February 9, 2017

What do you do for you?

Sometimes when life gets busy the first thing that caregivers/moms give up is things that they do for themselves. However, it is important to do things for yourself, something that gives you joy.

I have always enjoyed reading and creating. I enjoy a good book but also enjoy reading blogs and such on the internet. I don't typically have time to commit to a novel so I surf the web. However, lately I have taken to reading novels again. For me to be creative means many things. I could be painting an octopus in the laundry room, repainting a room, designing a costume or many other things. I find that when I am not creating I feel stagnant. That is why I have enjoyed my shop immensely. 

The other day I was painting and talking to a friend on the phone. She said that she couldn't paint the feathers so as I was talking (I have a house phone because we get poor cell phone reception at the house.) I taped a little bit of me painting. I have never taped myself painting before.

So, I am curious as to what everyone else does. Let me know who is still reading along with my blog, what do you do that is for you and where are you from.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

The Purge of 2017

I feel as though I have been trying to declutter for years. I don't ever get very far with it. I was trying to declutter the house and realized that I couldn't even get to the stairs to the upstairs storage area in the other garage. Literally, you couldn't walk through it. I decided that it was time for the purge.

I got Jason to come to town and a friend with a truck. I purged that garage. Many truck loads went to the dump.

We went from so stuffed you couldn't walk through it to being able to park a car on one side and the movers on the other. Now we are working on the other garage and house. I am serious about this purge.

I am trying to get more organized for several reasons. One a local news agency called and said that they wanted to come by Monday at 4 to do a story on foster care. They wanted the kids there and everything. OK, John took vacation time, Tasha took a personal day, Jason was already here. We got all the kids to come. One hour before they were to come they cancelled for another story and want to come next week. Uh, I don't think so.

While that went bust we are still waiting on the fire inspector. We have been waiting since October, crazy. We also got a call from USAA saying that our insurance company wanted pictures of all rooms of the house. Uhh, never did that before. Still working on getting the house presentable for that.

Since we had everyone here we decided to reshoot an old photo (actually I made everyone do it)....

We have had some growth.

We shared a nice meal together.

The weather here has been crazy. Not sure if it is hot or cold. (John dressed him that day)

Noah is growing so fast. I will have to post some first birthday pictures later.

We have Vaida on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. She plays well with Benjamin.

Black history project....

I have been taking Benjamin to the shop so he can paint. He likes to blow dry his art. I am going to miss the place.

Vaida sporting a yellow hat....

Her mom many years ago at the same age sporting a yellow Easter basket.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Crazy Busy, Closing Down

Yesterday I actually bought some light bulbs and replaced some that got burned out. Our house was slowly growing dark. Kassi walked in after work and asked me why the house was so bright! This simple task needed to be done for months. That is how crazy life gets around here at times.

Still, we want to do foster care again. I know, we must be crazy. We are stuck on our licensing because the fire inspector hasn't come. A fire inspection was requested in October! This isn't just us, it is the entire county.

Lately I have been looking at the house and thinking that a lot of small things have been sliding. Mostly small stuff but it is starting to catch up with me!

My shop has been super busy. We are booked on Saturdays so parties have been bleeding over to other days. I have a home school group that I work with, some private lessons, private commissions and several murals that I need to get to. Is it possible to say that I have gotten too busy?

Crazy as it seems I have decided to close my shop. The home school group has gotten hard to manage as I have Noah here (Kassi has moved out), Benjamin and Vaida two days a week. Tasha is overwhelmed at school and no longer helps with parties and won't be able to do art camps this summer. Sarah will be gone this summer. People I have tried to train realize that it is too much for them. I have come to the conclusion that I need to pick between grandchildren/foster care and my business. Well, grand children/foster care wins out. I am planning on closing the end of February. The customers that I have told are not happy with me. Home schoolers wanted to know if they could come to my house!

I don't make this decision lightly. I have enjoyed the shop. I had hoped that someone else would step up and do something similar. There is such a need for activities for kids in our area. I have a lot to do to close the business down. A lot of painting parties in February!

It does seem strange to close a business down for reasons other than financial. Guess there are many reasons to close. I do plan on continuing my painting and will find other areas to explore it. I will miss working with all the kids.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Last Port

It sure is taking me a long time to finish my vacation. We got back and life got busy real fast. I must say that my moms cut that I was worried about has healed up really well. I feel like I need a vacation to recover from my vacation!

Our last port was the Dominican Republic.

For this port John and I went and rented a taxi and brought Anthony and Jason along. Larissa and Sarah went with Angela and family on an excursion.

As soon as you drive out of the port you see a dump. Sadly on the dump you see lots of people going through all the trash looking for treasures. Makes you appreciate all that you have and even feel guilty on all of our expensive pleasures.

We went into town and rolled some cigars. My husband loves his cigars so he was enjoying himself.

We were heading back to relieve Tasha and Ethan and got into an accident! The taxi service was very nice and we had a replacement pretty quickly. We felt bad for the driver, I imagine he lost his job. We did notice that stopping to look at accidents is a universal issue!

  The girls had a good time with Angela.

The next day was a day at sea. We did lots of eating, playing, relaxing and eating.

Typically when we went to the buffets we would plant ourselves at some tables and send people out in groups to get their food. I planted myself with Benjamin and Vaida and asked Michelle and Larissa to pick them up some food.....

they both came back with food.

I did find Michelle's plate interesting. She said she couldn't find anything else. This was the attitude we had from her the entire time. Charlotte complained that Michelle started yelling at her and screaming in her hallway when they couldn't find the area the children's group went to. We couldn't allow Michelle to go with her after that.

We got into Fort Lauderdale right after the airport shooting so my brother didn't know if his flight would be delayed. Disembarkation was long and slow and uneventful, the ride home was long and slow as well and we came home to very cold weather and a snow storm that didn't produce much snow.

Now on to life......