Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Turtle Rescue

If you ever see one of these little red-eared slider turtles for sale and are tempted to buy one, don't unless you are willing to put a lot of effort into taking care of them.

I acquired this turtle from a girl who thought it was cute in the beginning.  This poor turtle has been living in this little tank for over a month.

The little container didn't have a space for the turtle to dry off or enough water to swim in.

For the first night I put him in a bigger container and used the lid as a dry spot.  Previously the turtle had no way to get dry.  These turtles need a basking spot with a heat lamp and a UV lamp.  They need warm water and are very dirty so need a good filtration system.

They also don't stay small.  They can get to 10 inches.  That requires a huge tank.

As soon as I turned on the basking light he got onto his dock and stuck his leg out.

Also, these turtles can have salmonella. I don't really have my kids handle them much, mostly when we are cleaning out the cage.  Then I ensure that they are washing their hands.  When we have turtles they are for watching, not handling.

I haven't named my little fellow yet.  I hope he survives his early lack of proper care.

Any turtle name ideas?

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Pinata Continued

First we took some cereal boxes out of the trash and cut a ring. We used a few strips of paper mache across the ring and top of the balloon to attach the ring, the top of the balloon was sticking out (didn't think to take any pictures). More cereal box was cut to make the rest of the hat.  More paper mache was added to attach it all together.

We cut some slits in the ring for the ears.  This added stability to the ears.

We are now letting it dry again.  The kids are having such a great time that they decided that they want to each do their own creation this summer.  They plan on making it outside which would be a cleaner option!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Easter pinata

I read Kathy Cassel's blog and after reading about her Easter pinata we decided to do one as well. We have been doing some of the family building activities in her book, Just for Me!  My Family.

We have a serious procrastination problem here so I hope that we are able to get it finished in time for Easter of 21015, not 2016.  After watching the kids apply liberal paste while working on it, it may take a long time to dry.

After reading the directions the kids got started.

The kids tore the newspaper into strips.

The little one who has learned how to climb onto the table inspected their work.

Then it was time for dipping the paper strips into the paste.  We made it kind of thick.

Wiping off the excess paste is an art.

This would have been a perfect project for outside if only our weather would cooperate.

I have to say that given the mess and only one bowl to work from the kids worked together very well.  Yes, Michelle is not here, that is a story for tomorrow.

More work needs to be done.  Hopefully it will dry quickly for us!

Paper mache is so much fun!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015



How we keep track of our active Little Man.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015


If you decide to do foster care you have a lot of paperwork to do. Adoptions from foster care are the same.  International adoptions require a crazy amount of paperwork.  If you continue to foster or adopt the paperwork never ends.  Annually you do SLED checks, fire inspections and such.

About two years ago we decided that we wanted to adopt through the foster systems again.  We wanted to stop fostering and do a straight adoption.  Emma and Michelle were adopted this way.  It may not seem that way since they did not have TPR when they came but they were.  Actually they came from a disrupted adoptive placement.  Anthony, Larissa and Kassi were our foster children and we adopted them after they had TPR's.

We finished our homestudy paperwork and then tried to pull away from foster care.  We had a huge problem with that because they are short of foster homes here and I have a hard time saying no to a placement.

After a very busy year of over 20 placements we told DSS that this last short term placement would be our last.  We really wanted to adopt another sibling group.  The short term placement has turned into a possible adoption placement.  We didn't go out and seek an adoption of a single infant.  Funny how our plans don't always work out the way we plan.

Since it has been almost two years we have to redo all of our paperwork.  This means physicals for everyone, SLED checks, financials, Child Factor Checklist, discipline agreement, emergency planning, application, bioparent contact agreements, pet shot records, and gun records. There might have been more, we just sat and filled out and signed a huge stack of papers.  We are still working on the physicals.  I need to take my mom and two more of the kids.  Adults have to get TB tests but kids don't.

You have to be committed to constantly redoing the paperwork and inspections.  They tell me that often no matches are made in the first two years.  I can't imagine how I would feel if I was redoing my paperwork and hadn't had a match in the first two years.  Would I give up?  I wonder how many people don't renew their homestudy.

This time in our paperwork we were able to put that we were trying to adopt a specific child, our Little Man.  We do have some court dates.  In May they have a pretrial court hearing.  This is where they determine who has to be at the TPR trial, what needs to be done before the trial and it is an opportunity for the biomom to request a lawyer.  If she doesn't show up for this hearing then she will probably not have a lawyer for the TPR trial.  TPR is scheduled a month later in June.

So we will gladly prepare our paperwork.  We are delighted to have some court dates. We finally see some progress.

Monday, March 23, 2015

My Day

Lately my days have been busy from sun up to sun down. I go to bed tired and I wake up tired. I guess part of that problem is I can't wind down until about midnight.

This morning I dropped the kids off at school at 7:15 as usual and then had to head to Columbia for a pediatric cardiologist appointment for Little Man at 9 am. We had a little time to waste so stopped for donuts. We had a great time and I do believe that I washed most of the sugar off of him before his appointment.

Little Man attempted to speed up his appointment by yelling at the door and climbing around on anything he could find.

He also escaped from the room when the cardiologist stepped in.  I didn't know he could run so fast!

They did an ultrasound of his heart and determined that he looks great.  He had two issues with his heart; a fast heart rate and a hole.  Both issues have resolved.

At the end of our appointment the cardiologist looked at me and said that he hoped I had help at home because Little Man has so much ENERGY.

We were a few minutes away from Tasha so we went and picked up Vaida to watch her for the day. Tasha had a big test to take.

We loved on Vaida and send her home in need of a bath.  Larissa came home from school sad because she always leaves school before Birthday goodies are shared.  Today she missed out so we decided to make cupcakes.  Little Man shared his frosting with Vaida and patted her on the head giving her a frosting hairdo.

I brought out the bag of costumes and Larissa and Emma decided to put on a show.  Larissa would teach Emma a few dance steps and they would come out with costumes and dance steps to go with them.  They had a great time.  Emma and Larissa have been growing their relationship a lot lately and it is nice to watch.

Here they are as twins...

I had plans to get to bed early tonight.  Not going to happen.  It is almost 11 pm here and I have to go and take care of my mom before I can head to bed.  I guess I will head off to do that, maybe I will get to bed before midnight and not after midnight.

Good night.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Father Daughter Dance

The girls school had a Father Daughter Dance.  Larissa and Emma were able to go and had a great time.  Michelle, still struggling, couldn't go.

When asked if her dad could dance Larissa wasn't too sure.

Practicing their dance.

Larissa danced with her dad.  Emma said that she was too embarrassed to dance with him so she danced with Larissa and hung out with her friends.

Who knows, maybe next year Emma will dance with her dad.  She missed out on a great dance partner.  Hopefully Michelle gets to go next year.

Who else has Father Daughter Dances at their schools?  I don't remember the schools having these years ago.