Thursday, October 30, 2014

Renaissance Festival 2014

Once again we attended the Renaissance Festival in North Carolina.The weather was perfect and we had a great time.  This last weekend was their trick or treating weekend so the kids go to dress in Halloween costumes and gather candy from the different shops.







Pretzels were only $2 so we got a few.  We also got some Italian Frozen drink which was delicious.


At this point Emma became upset.  we couldn't figure out why and everyone was asking her what was wrong.  Come to find out that she was upset that she was on the back of this strange contraption....

We chose to ignore the pouting and moved on.  She does look rather pitiful and couldn't pull herself out of it to go into the horror chamber.



However, when the bungee jumping came into view she cheered up and had a great day after that.




The kids love watching the shows and interacting with the different entertainers.



I think I know why John has a bad back!  My objective next year is to get him to dress up.



I got to hold my grandbaby for a bit.



The guy in the back next to Anthony seemed very excited to join our group!


Two pirates..





Anthony is now quite a bit taller than Joselin!





Anyone have a Renaissance Festival near them that they attend?  We used to go to a big one in Texas when we lived there.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Play is Noisy

Apparently my kids make too much noise when they play outside.  All summer we have had our neighbor behind us complain that our kids are too noisy when they play.  A major complaint is that his dog hears them and starts barking.


My husband and I went back and forth about it.  Every time the kids got too loud he had them go inside.  I was more for reminding them to quiet down and continue playing.  So much for using outside voices outside.  We had to stop sending them outside to run off steam.  It got frustrating.  Finally my husband agreed to just telling them to quiet down when we felt they were being too loud.  We never let them play outside before 10 am and they are usually in by dark.


Apparently our efforts were not enough.  By the end of summer he took to telling them through the fence that he was going to call the police.  We chose to ignore that.  I figured that if my kids bothered him enough that he could go ahead and call the police and we would let them determine if our kids playing was a problem.


Today I was at dance with Larissa and Anthony when Sarah called me at 4 pm very upset.  Emma and Michelle were out jumping on the trampoline when the neighbor told them that if they didn't stop making noise and making his dog bark that he would shoot them!  I told her to keep the girls inside until I got home and I would deal with it.


When Anthony and Larissa got out of class I asked them if the neighbor had said anything concerning lately.  Larissa told me that one day she and Michelle were playing hide and seek and he told them  "if you don't stop making that noise and making my dog bark I am going to shoot you."  I wanted some type of confirmation before I made accusations because in my house that is necessary.  Apparently he has threatened them in this way several times!


My husband and I decided that we would file a report with the police.  A police officer came to the house and we discussed the problem with him.  He asked if we wanted to file charges and we said no, but we did want it reported.  He told us that kids playing and making noise was not illegal but an adult threatening children is.  He also said that he had 5 kids himself.


I hated calling the police but our kids needed to know that it is not appropriate for someone to talk to them in that manner.  Their safe space in our backyard seems to be not so safe. I hope that he find some way to quiet his dog and leave my kids alone. 


A few points.......
When this problem first started I was concerned that the neighbor worked nights, actually he does not work at all.


Our lots are 3/4 acre so we are not right on top of each other. 


Their dog is a little yappy barking dog, I can't help that.


We do not live in a retirement community.


The only thing that we are doing to lesson the noise in the back of the yard is moving the trampoline.  We are getting rid of one of our swing sets next to our house and moving the trampoline to that spot.


At this moment if we could sell the house and move to a place with no neighbors I would.  We have neighbors complain about our yard (we hired someone to pull weeds).  My husband mows regularly but the islands got away from me.  I have a hard time getting out to do yard work since I got this baby.  Actually, I struggle to do anything these days because Little Man hates to sleep!


We had one neighbor complain about our purple door. He actually told my husband that he needed to make me paint it white.  He said that purple represented homosexuality (it represents many things).  My husband told him that if he wanted the door painted that he would have to buy the house from us and paint it himself. I think that he got upset when he realized that I was painting the side gate purple to match!  It is a very pretty color of purple.


We had another neighbor complain about our junk car.  I asked what junk car, we don't have any junk cars.  All of our cars run and have license plates.  Apparently he thought that Sarah's Beetle was a junk car.  I simply moved it to the other side of the driveway.  Now it doesn't matter anyways, friends totaled it.


We never let our children play out front unsupervised.  I don't trust them!  I don't want the neighbors to have something else to complain about.  So they play in the backyard with that neighbor threatening them.  Ack.


I would love to put a flock of plastic flamingos out in the front yard but my husband won't let me.  Instead we put my moms ramp out the front door and down the entire side of the house.  Actually it was the only place that they could put it.  Interestingly no one complained about that.


I guess that I now have a bad attitude and need to work on that.


Anyone want to buy a pretty good sized house with a grouchy neighbor out back? 


Anyone out there with neighbor problems?


(Sorry about the long neighbor rant!)





Monday, October 27, 2014

Taking Back

At one point when our house guests were here they stayed in the frog.  Actually we had them all over the place.  Since they left the room has been trashed.  Saturday I decided to reclaim it. Our laundry area is in that room so we did minimal organization of laundry while someone was living in that room.

After 5 hours of sorting......



After dark......

We decided to put the wii in that room.  The kids have changed how they play and have outgrown many of their toys.  The wii is one of their favorite activities.  If you were wondering, each kid has their very own chair, no fighting over chairs.


I still need to find the curtains (they rmoved them for some reason) and paint the walls but for now it is finished.


It was after 10 pm that I got to sit down and finish a Batman costume and make some small adjustments to a pirate costume. 


Friday, October 24, 2014

One Finished Project

A few weeks ago I was asked to repaint a huge wooden screen I had designed for our church. We are currently meeting in the local middle school so everything has to have the ability to be packed up and stored.  The screen has been stored in my garage..........


I had to clean out the garage before I could even think about creating and painting.  Our church is raising funds to build our church and some people are having garage sales.  I don't have time to do a garage sale so I made a donation.  I cleared out enough so that I could paint.


I was told that it was an African safari theme and to create something.....





One project done just in time.  Now that the garage has some free space I need to continue to clean it out because I need to paint Michelle's desk and a project for a friend in Florida.


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Little Man



Little Man is a busy baby.  I do believe that this is the first time that I had to write a note that papers were eaten by a baby.  He is seriously teething.

His mom continues to miss visits.  I find it confusing that on the last missed visit she posted a picture of Little Man on facebook instead of visiting with him. I wish that I knew what her objective is.  Does she plan on fighting for him at the last minute?  Why has she missed all visits since July?  Does she realize that her baby is growing up so fast?  Does she realize how much we have fallen in love with her child and how he has fallen in love with us?

We always encourage reunification.  We try to work with the parents and even maintain relationships with several of our former foster children and parents.  However, in this case, honestly I hope that reunification does not happen.  The fact that mom has missed so many visits is alarming to me.  I know that for one visit she was in jail and couldn't come, but from what I have seen there is no excuse for the rest.

DSS has decided to go to court and change the case from reunification to concurrent reunification/TPR. This is the first step towards terminating parental rights.  His case goes to court in November.  Mom will be notified, I wonder if she will start to visit at that point. At thsi point she can still step up and gain custody of her son.  She has some work to do and would need to start visiting with regularity. She has the power to make this case go either way.  It is up to her at this point.  Please pray that the right decisions are made for Little Man.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Changes

We have a lot of changes going on here in our household. 

It looks as though Sarah will actually be moving out next semester.  She applied to Columbia International University again and was accepted.  When she graduated from high school she wanted to do mission work so she took a trip with Teen Missions International.  While on this trip she had problems with a bully.  This led her away from mission work. 

She started attending the local community college while trying to decide what she wanted to do.  She applied for another college and was accepted but she changed her mind at the last minute because she wasn't sure of her course of study.  She has come full circle to her original plans.  I think that she will actually move to the dorms next semester and I already miss her.

Please say a prayer for Sarah.  She is suddenly worried that she won't be able to do her hearts desire because of her NF1.  Her anxiety has been over the top lately.  Anyone know of a good natural way to help with anxiety?

Sarah decided that she didn't want to take up an entire bedroom since she won't be home full-time.  After a lot of discussions and considering behavior issues the decision was made for Larissa and Sarah to share a bedroom. Larissa and Sarah have shared a room before and do very well together.  She was the only sister that Sarah considered since Larissa actually respects Sarah's stuff.

Michelle and Emma are now going to share a bedroom.  Emma has been doing so well that we decided to move her back upstairs.  There are no pictures because the entire upstairs looks like a hurricane hit!  On the second night in their bedroom Emma and Michelle tore down their curtains.  I warned them that if they tore down the blinds then they won't have any window covering since I won't replace them.  So far they have left them alone.  They are so destructive that it gets frustrating at times.  For the most part I have learned to let it go.  It simply means that they have less because of their destructive tendencies.  Michelle is currently waiting for me to fix her bed.  The frame didn't hold up to their jumping.  I will get to it sometime.

I will post pictures when the rooms look like bedrooms, not storage facilities.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

When did it happen?


I spent too much of my time today looking through old pictures. I really need to make some albums so that the kids can look too.  I came across these pictures of me and my mom.  They were taken in 2008.  At that time she was struggling with the effects of a stroke but she was still mobile.  Still cooking and contributing.  She had moved in with us and took care of herself.

She had a stroke because she stopped taking her high blood pressure medication.  If you take medication for health reasons don't ever stop.  It took a lot from her but it has also has an effect on her family.

She has a type of dementia called vascular dementia.  It is different from Alzheimer's.  With Alzheimer's the decline is continual.  With vascular dementia the decline is more like steps, long periods of stability followed by a sudden drop.  She will have a small stroke that we arent' even aware of and go down another step.



At this point all my mom does for herself is feed herself.  She can't even shift herself in her bed.  I worry about bedsores all the time. The last thing I do before going to bed is shift her and change her.

Honestly, tonight I didn't want to do it.  I am weary.  At some point I stopped being a daughter to my mom and became her caretaker.  I really miss being the daughter.  I miss the relationship that we had.  It has become so one sided and I get frustrated.  I want her to try and work her muscles.  I know that she can improve if she just worked at it.  She won't work at it.  I don't understand why.  It feels like she has given up, perhaps she has given up. 

All I can do is continue to encourage her and continue to take care of her. 

Still, I miss being the daughter.