Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year, New Possibilities

Welcome to 2011. I just have one question...where did 2010 go? Actually, where did 2009, 2008, oh heck, when did we welcome the new century?
The days, months and years just seem to be zipping past me. Funny, I don't feel old but when I was a kid my current age seemed ancient. According to my 10 year old self it is amazing that I am still standing without the aid of a cane.
I have no new year resolutions. I just plan on sputtering along doing the best I can and growing whenever I see the opportunity. Oh, I have lots of projects planned in my head but I always have those. If I ever actually finish all of them then I don't know what I would do with myself.
Today I did an irresponsible thing. I cancelled Kiwi's WIC appointment. I had a class earlier this week for the baby so I have vouchers for formula. Waiting for hours with Kiwi so they can do their little medical thing and get vouchers for her cereal and milk just didn't seem to be worth my time. I rescheduled for next week because I try to keep them for mom whenever they go home. Instead John and I went to a movie, World Market and the bookstore. Just the two of us, no kids. It was such a luxury.
To make up for my irresponsibility I, actually we, put our adoption packet in the mail. Maybe the new year will bring a new child into our home. We had been holding onto the packet waiting for the best time. Waiting for everything to be just right. But, I don't think that there will ever be a perfect time when everything is just right. If I wait for that day I would never send that packet out. I would never open my home to another child.
We aren't searching any photolistings at this time. We just want our information to go into the database and see what happens. We are taking a leap of faith and know that it may very well be a wild ride. Don't those wild rides make like worth living?
I was thinking the other day how our life would be if we had never adopted. Our baby would have been Sarah and she is 17 years old. We would not have kids in preschool and elementary school. We would be past all the field trips and Girl Scout days. We would have the freedom to go to any movie we wanted without worrying about child care issues. We could travel more. We could sleep in more. We would have more money in the bank (well maybe not, good thought though).
But, I don't think that God intended for us to have that life. We have always taken care of others, starting with my father in law with Alzheimer's to my mother with stroke issues. Along the way we have adopted three children and fostered more. God blessed us with the ability to have a huge house, I don't think that it was meant to sit empty. I think that it was meant to be filled.
How simple it would be to not care for others. How selfish it would be too. My life is enriched and filled. Some days with heartache but many days with love and blessings.
We have children with medical issues and emotional issues. We deal with them every day. But the thing is we deal with them. Our normal seems overwhelming to others but it is our normal. It does not seem like too much of a burden to me. Why is that? Why does it not seem like such a huge burden to me? I think that it is because it is what I am supposed to be doing. It is my gift and it would be a shame to waste it.
2011 is here, what will it bring?
Happy New Year and may you have many blessings this new year.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Slow Days

I am still working on my craft room. I believe that it has become a bigger project then I expected. I can't show the entire room because it is still a wreak but I can show my small closet. I found that the cheapest option for maximizing the space was wire shelving. I already had some parts from my downstairs closet remodel so it kept my costs down.
I didn't realize how much scrapbooking stuff I had. I have a LOT of pictures that I wish I could get put on my computer. I scan some every now and then but there are so many that I don't think it will ever happen. I also question if they will ever get put into the photo albums!
While going through pictures today I realized that I have a lot of duplicates. I pulled out a lot of the duplicates from the time that Joselin joined our family and put them in a pile. I then brought Joselin up and gave her all the pictures as well as a scrapbook. I showed her the supplies and how to use them. I told her to make herself a scrapbook. I am hoping that she will come to realize that he has more of a history in our family then she realizes. She seemed very excited to get the scrapbook so we will see if she does do it.
I am struggling with how to use the space. Right now there is laundry, ironing board, sewing, crafting of all types and a inflatable bed up there. That is a lot in that small space. I figured that the bed could go but then Larissa smashed a finger and came to me for comfort. We cuddled on that mattress and watched the washing machine go round and round. It was very soothing. It almost seemed like a good reading spot. Would that be odd? To have a reading spot in front of the washing machine? Like I said, I am still trying to decide what to do with that space with limited funds. I also have limited time as well.
I have gone to Lowe's several times in the past few days and picked up closet supplies. I purchased these $3 clearance plants leftover from Christmas. I have plans for them if I can keep them alive this winter.

I may try to hit up Target tomorrow because I hear that they have great Christmas clearance items. I plan on going to town tomorrow so maybe that will happen.

Well, all that sorting has tuckered me out so I am off to bed. Have a great evening.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

What a Mess!

Welcome to my chaos. This is my craft/laundry/sometimes guest room. Yes that is an inflatable bed in the corner and according to my nephew it is pretty comfortable.
The tiny closet in the room is definitely not sufficient. The angled down roof doesn't help at all.

Oh, the sorting and organizing that I need to do. What an embarrassment.

I worked in this room off and on all day today and I don't have any after pictures. It is still a work in progress. Not only do I need to go through all those boxes but I need to determine how I am going to arrange the room.
Uh, I also found some Christmas gifts for three kids. Geez, I manage to do that every year.
Naturally once I decided to tackle a project the babies get sick. The baby was whiny all day and both babies were sick. Lets just say that they have had baths and if we continue at this pace I may need to buy new sleepers. Some got tossed in the trash today once I determined that they were too gross and smelly for me to deal with (weak stomach). My poor husband has the week off and he is already ready to head back to work. Ahhh, he gets relief.
Well, hopefully both babies are feeling better tomorrow and I can get something accomplished. I have to be at a WIC class at 9 am so I am not too sure how my day will go. At least I don't have to bring either kid to this appointment. I do have a WIC appointment on the 31st where I have to bring Kiwi. I really don't enjoy going to the WIC office.
Well, I hope everyone has a great night, I think I will go work on my mess some more now that the babies are in bed.

Monday, December 27, 2010


Notice anything missing from these bottles?

Yep, they are missing their nipple tips. No, the baby hasn't suddenly taken to biting off the tip.
However, Lucy has. I think she actually does it for the formula. She doesn't chew up the entire nipple. Sigh........

Isn't she beautiful? She is actually a very good dog with little kids. She is very clam and quiet. I have even caught Kiwi rubbing her hands across the dogs back while the dog is scavenging for food under her chair.

Besides having a fondness for formula Lucy also thinks she owns half the couch and thinks that she is a lap dog. She doesn't seem to believe me when I tell her that she isn't a lap dog.

Her return home has actually gone quite well. She has been doing well with no accidents in the house. She is still a puppy so I try to warn the kids about their toys. I think it will just be a matter of time before she gets a hold of something important. Oh well, baby bottle nipples are easily replaceable. I just need to train the baby to stop dropping her bottle for the dog.

Have a great evening.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Winding Down

I ventured to Walmart today and was surprised to see Happy New Year items for sale. Seems like 2010 just started and now we are about to ring in 2011. At least I don't write too many checks anymore so I won't write the wrong date on those too often.
I had a lot of things I wanted to get finished over this break and I haven't gotten too far on them. I think I may have to reduce my list. Time just seems to fly by.
David and Tasha left today to go to their home. Their visit seemed so short.

We took pictures today before Tasha left. The tree is now halfway bare. It will come down tomorrow.

Along with the tree disappearing so will the snow. It was a nice surprise to wake up to this morning.

Anyone know of a good photography book? I really need to learn how to use all these gadgets my dear husband gifted me with.
I found some Cadbury creme eggs at Walmart (my favorite candy) so I am off to enjoy one and read about others lives out there in blogland. Have a great evening.

Snow in South Carolina!

We got snow! We don't get much snow here in South Carolina. Snow in December is even more rare. It will be gone by tomorrow.
Playing with my new camera.
My weeping mulberry still needs trimming.

Yes, she is wearing pj bottoms with a dress and light jacket. We don't own snow gear and she wasn't out long.

I love this new camera, it does skin tones real well.

John and Sarah are doing better. Church is cancelled so we will just have a quiet day at home.
It is still snowing, what fun.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Spreading Illness and Cheer

Well, Sarah is now sick and this evening John is sick. Sarah was able to make it down for the presents this morning but spent most of her day in bed. She just ate some leftovers so apparently she has what I had....a half day stomach something. I hope that John has the same.
I have been walking around with a can of Lysol hitting door knobs and such although I really think it is too late to help the rest. I have to try.
My little helpers were successful in putting together the Playmobil school and firehouse. My son in law has stated that his future children will never own any toys with so many little pieces. I just smile.
In spite of Sarah getting sick and now John, I consider Christmas to be a success.
Today we fit 9 family members into our tiny kitchen table with the kids table was sitting next to us. We discussed the fact that we may have to come up with a different plan if we get any bigger but it was nice to all huddle around the table together.
It seems like the kids grow up so quickly. When they are little you knew where they would be on Christmas morning. They were still in your home and didn't have other obligations to be elsewhere.
We have no idea what next Christmas will bring. We threw out the idea that Tasha and David should host the next meal and they offered up peanut butter and jelly. Guess they are not ready.
Our Christmas did include gifts. Too many gifts.
During the year I typically don't buy any toys unless it is some garage sale item. So at Christmas time I do indulge a little too much. It is easier when they are little because their wants are so simple. But, I am thinking that next year we may do something different.
Even the Grinch needs loving.

I did get the camera I wanted for Christmas. Now I am overwhelmed. My loving husband also bought me several lenses and filters. I need to figure out the camera. My concern is that I wanted this nicer camera and what if my pictures don't look any better? What if they actually look worse? My old reliable camera is a 4 pixel camera and has been dropped several times.
The following pictures were taken with my new camera......the kids enjoying the Playmobil toys and played together nicely.

You may notice Larissa wearing dresses more frequently. I have decided to stop fighting a battle. Larissa doesn't like to keep her pants on for some reason. I am always telling her to put her pants on. Well, I ran into a bunch of clearance dresses for $10 each and bought several. I am pushing the fighting about pants.

I know some folks are wondering how Joselin did after her sudden return. She actually did well for the most part. She did have some tears on Christmas Eve when Jason decided to tell her how he felt. I was there when this happened and he wasn't particularly mean or even yelling. He just point blank told her how he felt about how she treated the family and how he doesn't appreciate it. She didn't like it and started crying. I didn't stop the conversation. I didn't try to protect her. Jason was speaking the truth. Her actions have effected the entire family, not just herself.

The girls did not say anything to her and were just being kind. But I know that they harbor some ill feelings as well. They have come to me and talked about it but keep the peace and don't say anything to Joselin. Maybe the kids do need to speak to her more. I am in an unknown area here. Joselin is now 17 years old, no longer a little child. She needs to be more aware of how much her actions effect others around her.

Obviously I don't have the magic answers or I wouldn't be struggling so much with my daughter. Some days I feel that all I can do is pray for her, it is out of my hands. Day by day is all we can do. Today she is home and save.

My youngest daughter Larissa told me this evening that this was her best Christmas ever. She sure knows how to make her momma happy.

I wish that happiness onto everyone else tonight. Have a great evening.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Elves at Work

Playmobil.....hundreds of pieces.
Having kids old enough to help you put them together.....priceless!

Merry Christmas

It has been a great day here.
Tasha and her husband made it here safely, the fajitas have been eaten, Santa's cookies are made and sitting on his plate, and now all the kids are tucked into bed.
Yep, a great day.
I hope that everyone has a great day with families and friends.
Merry Christmas

Thursday, December 23, 2010


I have been fighting a second cold this season and woke up at 3 am with nausea. Ugh, I really don't have time to be sick. So, I spent the morning on the couch in a semi comatose state.
By noon I was feeling human again and I had to go to Walmart for groceries. We are having fajitas for Christmas eve and roast for Christmas. At least I hope so. I spent $200 but have to wonder what I forgot.
The foster babies GAL came by at 4 pm.....bearing gifts. One of the gifts makes a very loud obnoxious noise. I am trying to figure out how to reciprocate. The kids court date is definitely, somewhat in March....unless it changes.
I am sitting here eating crackers and drinking Sprite and don't feel in the most festive of moods. Thankfully, I believe that by Christmas morning I will be back up to par. Of course, now John says his gut is rolling. I just hope that the kids don't get it, I don't do barf well!
My shopping is finished and all that remains is baking and cooking. Are you ready?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Bad Mommy Moments of the Week

What a week it has been for bad mommy moments.

To start the week off right I forgot my tooth fairy duties......again.
I am enjoying having a dog in the house. She eats all the food that the baby drops and I have done a lot less sweeping. I think that Lucy will miss the baby when she leaves.
Speaking of the kitchen floor.......I spot cleaned those sticky spots because I wasn't up to a full mop job.
I keep telling myself to put some of the toys away but never seem to get to it. We have way too many stuffed toys around this house. I let Larissa run around in her pajamas most of the day....then let them pour half the toys out on the floor and play. They were busy for hours so I was happy.
I realized that Anthony was wearing the same shirt he wore yesterday and I didn't make him go and change. (read....less laundry)
I said yes when the kids asked for cereal for dinner.

What food group do pop-tarts belong to?
I haven't bought any food for our Christmas dinner or candy for stockings.
I didn't do any laundry today, that is highly unusual for me.
I have eaten way too many buckeyes.
I am sure that if I thought longer that I would come up with more. In spite of all my short comings, the kids are happy and content. They don't seem to notice all my bad mommy moments like I do. I guess that I either compensate in other ways or the kids don't care what the house looks like and how balanced their diet is.
I think I may just go and have another buckeye. Have a great day.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Do You Buy Toy Guns?

When Jason was little I bought him all types of toy guns. He had cap guns, Nerf guns and later paintball guns. In all those years of playing with toy guns we never had any major issues. I really couldn't understand why some folks had issues with toy guns. In spite of all those weapons Jason owned he was never a violent child and is not a violent adult today.
Then Anthony came into my home. He didn't know how to play with any toys but apparently there was a gun dealer in his home. Anthony made everything into a gun. Blocks were made into the shape of a gun. Cars became guns. He went around pretending that he was shooting everyone. All he knew was guns.
Violence, well lets just say that he has had his incidents. He tore apart a nice wooden captain's bed in a fit of anger. So, no guns for Anthony.
During our foster Christmas party he was given a transformers arm that shoots plastic pieces. It was cool and Anthony was so excited.
It lasted one day.
After shooting Kiwi in the face and Larissa in the back he showed me that he could not abide by my rule of not shooting anyone (or any animals). So, he lost his toy.

He wants a Nerf gun for Christmas. He will not be receiving one.

It has been almost 5 years since he left the home where the gun dealer worked. Still, sometimes I worry that the effects of those early 2 1/2 years will last a lifetime. I can't protect him from his impulses forever.

Anyone want a transformer arm? It is in great shape.

Just Relaxing

How we travel at the mall.

Admit it, you would stare too! It is fine with us, we know we are a strange sight. (I do love the stroller by the way)

We had a good time at the mall. We arrived shortly after it opened at 9 am and got a great parking spot. I did find a few items to buy but kept within my budget. I gave the girls some money to go shopping for Christmas presents and they seemed to enjoy themselves. The kids and I sat in the play area for quite a while while I watched people. (I stare too, folks are so interesting)

We then had lunch and were out of the mall by 1 pm. Perfect timing, the crowds were getting thick by that time. Good thing John was at work, he would have gone crazy staying at the mall that long.

I think that after I get kids in bed tonight I am going to work on Sarah's TV center. It needs to be zebrafied and is one of my project objectives for Christmas break.

Nice relaxing day, hope everyone else is having a great day.

It was pointed out to me that I didn't post my Buckeye recipe,

Buckeye recipe:

1 1/2 cups peanut butter (creamy or chunky depending on if you want nuts in it, I used some of both)

1 cup butter softened

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

6 cups confectioners' sugar

4 cups semisweet chocolate chips

In a large bowl (if you double it like I did make it a huge bowl), mix all ingredients except for the chocolate chips. (I actually use a potato smasher) It will look dry and crumbly.

Make it into small balls and sit them on waxed paper. I think that the warmth of your hands helps form the ball.

Put a toothpick in each one and put in the freezer for about 30 minutes. If you skip this step the toothpick will not stay when you dip it.

Melt your chocolate in a double boiler or in a bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir frequently until the chocolate is smooth.

Dip your frozen balls in the chocolate leaving a little peanut butter showing so they look like Buckeyes. Set them on the waxed paper and refrigerate. They need to be kept cold until served.

Small warning, they are addictive.

I actually melted too much chocolate and so went searching for something else to we also have chocolate dipped pretzels that the kids love.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Buckeyes and More

This dough doesn't look like much but it is ohhhh so tasty.
Naked buckeyes. A chocolate dip is a must.

I don't care to think of how many calories there are in that little ball of peanut butter and powered sugar. I think I gained 5 lbs today just making them.

One of many trays. I doubled the recipe.

Someone had to lick the spoon.

Tasha, I have you covered.

After I worked hard all day, some of us got to have some down time.

Now I need to cover these little guys.......

Don't you love my high tech paint palette (the paper plate)?
Tomorrow I will be at the mall. I promised Sarah that I would take her before Christmas (silly me). I don't have anything to buy but I will get to mingle with the crowds with all my kids in tow. I really don't know what I was thinking!
We had a visit from the foster babies social worker today. She brought by a few toys for them. John and I did a collective moan. Now don't get me wrong, we are thankful for the folks who contribute these toys. In many homes they are really needed. It is just that in our household we do provide for Christmas. So we have our presents, the SW presents and the GAL said she wanted to bring something by this week. I told her not to but she insisted, I am not sure when she will come. Actually, I think that we will put aside most of these extra gifts and send them home when they go. We have just about every infant/toddler toy already and I don't want to have to keep track of too many parts to too many toys. Yea, I know, lazy on my part. But they will have new toys when they get home!
Well, I have procrastinated long enough....I need to go finish the snowmen for John.
Have a great day.

I am Getting There

I got a wreath on my front door!

We replaced the pumpkin with our snowman. I bought him yesterday at Lowe's for 40% off. Sometimes procrastination is a good thing.

I purchased our nativity in Guatemala.

The only thing I know about it is who carved it.

I think that it is really beautiful.

I really don't know where Santa will put his gifts.

We don't do a fancy mantle. I need more stocking hangers.

The kids are getting along for the moment.

Lucy has claimed the corner of the couch and a babydoll as a pillow (even though it makes noises every time she moves).

I am making buckeyes and working on some snowmen for John to take to work tomorrow.
Have a great afternoon.