Saturday, April 30, 2011

Busy Saturday

Fencing....lots of it. (No, we didn't put it in ourselves)

So that we could put in one of those intex above ground pools. As a foster parent fencing is a requirement for any pool. So the cost of that inexpensive above ground pool was quite high!

I may not be able to move tomorrow after attempting to level the ground. I did reach a point where I didn't care if it was level or not.


I am not sure when this monster will be filled but Larissa was most impatient. (It is still filling now....hours later)

Anthony and Larissa are close to being able to swim. However, we didn't get to a pool often enough last year for them to become accomplished swimmers. I really like for my kids to be able to swim so hopefully this will do the trick.


Well, guess I'd better find a flashlight and go check on the pool. Night

Friday, April 29, 2011

Things Change Quickly

Last week Jason finally got a job as a security guard. This week he went to training so he could start. He was supposed to start today at Lowe's. Yesterday he came by with his pants....unhemmed. He said he needed them by tonight. A few hours later he called and said he needed them ASAP. He was called and was asked if he wanted to go to Alabama to work. He was so excited, he said he was going to help people.
So, I hemmed his pants, ironed his shirt for him and handed him a few bucks. He is in Alabama tonight and starts work in a few hours. He will be working 12 hours shifts. They told him they would be there for 3 days. After seeing pictures of the devastation I imagine it will be longer.
I wonder what he will see. I hope that he will be safe. He is a grown man but I still think of him as my little boy.....when does that stop?
Tonight I will pray for the people of Alabama. I will also pray for my son.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Day 10

Day 10, today I was thinking about what I am thankful for today. I went about my usual business; dropping kids off, dropping the hail damaged car off for repairs, picking up the rental, grocery shopping, picking kids up, feeding kids, taking Sarah to church, picking kids up from church, and finally sitting down and watching American Idol.
Frequently, I would stop and think of the costs. Gas for all that "dropping off" has gotten high, groceries have gotten higher, insurance keeps going up. It seems as though all across the board everything has gotten more expensive. It would be nice if our income has gone up with it but it hasn't. If anything it has gone down because of more taxes coming out.

So, yes, I am so thankful that my husband is able to support us. There are so many people who thought that we were crazy for adding to our family. Kids are so expensive. However, a funny thing happened.......our income stretched and supported the extra kids just fine. My husband hasn't changed careers or had a huge increase in income. Probably the biggest increase in costs has been in food. It is crazy how much we spend every month in groceries!
But, more then the income, I am thankful that we have been given the opportunity to bring more children into our home, both temporary and permanent. Who knows, we may not add any more children to our family, or we may get that phone call, it is out of our hands at this point.
Isn't life exciting and grand!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Day 9 (kind of)

Well, I missed posting yesterday. But, I have a good

Being the procrastinator that I am I had to wait until the very last minute to start on some major projects. Actually, I have been working on them all semester but I had to put all the information down in APA format. Between yesterday (late last night) and this morning I finished my last two projects. I drove them to Columbia today and got them in on time. One was due today and the other tomorrow, I didn't want to drive into town twice.
I have learned so much this semester and have really enjoyed my classes. However, I am SO thankful that I am done with this semester! Thankful, thankful....even Sarah is thankful (my babysitter!)
Taking four classes was insane. It would have been a little less stressful if the foster babies had gone home in December but I know how that goes. It might have even been better if my dear husband had been home. Perhaps it was the stress of a kid going bipolar that put me over the edge. Better yet it might have been the teenager that did it.
Either way, it seemed like everything was conspiring against me this semester. So much that I am not taking the summer classes that I really should be taking. I hope that this doesn't cause a delay in completing my degree. It is hard to tell because you don't know when they will offer the classes. Not all classes are offered every semester and some are only offered in the summer. Next summer I will have to take a class because it is only offered in the summer.
So, I am taking the summer off. I have a feeling that it will go very fast since I have a lot of projects that need finishing and some books that I need to read. But, first I REALLY need to clean off my desk and the house has been neglected.

I think I am going to go and check on my farms.....

Sunday, April 24, 2011


Oh I wish I could share pictures!

The baby totally enjoyed her Easter candy today. She was eating chocolate and a sucker at the same time. Periodically she would raise her hands and dance in her high chair. We said she was doing to sugar dance and would all dance with her.


She totally enjoyed herself and we totally enjoyed watching her joy.


Foster live for the moments.

Day 8

Today I am thankful for the opportunity to be a momma.

It has brought me such joy and sorrow.

It has caused me to grow in ways I never thought possible.

I love being a momma.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Day 7

Today we spent part of our afternoon at McDonald's. We didn't go there for the great food. We went there to meet with the biological father of our two foster children. Honestly, we don't do this for the dad. We do this for the little ones.
Let me tell you, it is painful. I handed him the baby and she started crying. Big tears rolled down her face and she put her arms up, reaching for me. She doesn't know who he is. She doesn't realize that he is her daddy. She only gets to visit him 2 hours a month, she spends more time in the church nursery.
I had to look the other way. I had to back away. She needs to get to know him while I am at a distance smiling at her, trying to let her know it is OK.
How is she going to do when she goes home? I know she will be looking for me because she thinks I am momma. She calls me momma. She looks for me and comes to me, she trusts me. What happens to that trust when I am suddenly no longer there. Ugh, some days foster care just sucks.
Thankfully the older child does recognize him and goes willingly to him. I don't think that I could take two babies reaching for me with tears rolling down their cheeks.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Day 6

Our church put out on facebook that they were giving away this swingset to whoever wanted to cart it off. I have been looking for some swings to put in the yard for the kids. Free is great......even if it comes with a little labor. I am always thankful for a freebie!

I am also thankful for the son who came and helped me put it together. We had a 40% chance of rain today so naturally it rained all morning and it actually seemed cold.

Yes, Larissa is in her 4pm. If you were able to see her face you would also see chocolate pudding and in her hair there is sawdust. She and Anthony found the sawdust from the tree cutters and said that they were celebrating Fiesta!

Tomorrow we will take apart the large swingset. John is home so he gets to get involved, I'm not sure if he is happy about that or not!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Day 5

Today I am thankful .....ummmm, I am trying hard here. I actually had a rough day today. I went to Joselin's IEP meeting. She had told me that it was rescheduled for next week so I was surprised last night when her teacher called me to confirm that I was going to come to it today. I made it to the IEP meeting but Joselin didn't, she wasn't at school in spite of the fact that I had dropped her off there just 3 hours earlier.
She is failing most of her classes. Apparently she sleeps a lot in history. I told them that she is on her school laptop all night long so it doesn't surprise me. They decided that it was time to take up her laptop. Bottom line is she will not be graduating any time soon. She only has one English and one math credit. Basically she should be classified as a sophomore.
After a long conversation it was decided that they would start concentrating on functional skills. Things like how to fill out job applications and such. She surely needs these skills so I was thankful that they were able to come up with a plan to help her with transitioning. Ha, there you go, my thankful thought for the day. Truly I am thankful for all the school personnel who have tried so hard over the years to help Joselin to achieve all that she could. There have been some great people who have worked hard with her.
Joselin did come home at her regular car and not by bus as she should. She left home while I was gone taking Larissa to dance. I don't even know if she will be here for Easter. Lately she has taken to leaving on non school nights.
What can I say? She is 17 and in our state can leave whenever she wants to. However, since she is not yet 18 I must let her back in the home she comes back. Too much power for a 17 year old who makes bad choices for herself. I don't have any answers as to how to deal with this behavior anymore. There just aren't any easy answers.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Day 4

Today I am thankful that Jason got a job today!

When we were living in San Antonio he had two jobs. He thought that having some experience would help him to find a job here when we came back. It didn't. Unemployment in this area is just too high.

He has been doing odd work for me but it isn't enough. He needs to be occupied and working. The unemployment problem is not good for our youth. It leaves them too much free time to get into trouble.

So, yea Jason, my bank account and I are very thankful that you will now join the working forces!

The unemployment in our state is 9.9% (actually higher in our county), what is it like in your area?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Day 3

I am thankful that my gazebo is still standing! Two weeks ago it was pummelled with huge hail. Our cars didn't fare as well as the gazebo, they are a little dented.
Then we noticed a dead tree in the pine grove surrounding the gazebo. Actually, Cindy noticed it. I typically don't look up!

We have been watching another damaged tree and decided that it should go too. Our tree man from Mike's Tree Service came out and said that yet another tree should go. So in all, three trees needed to be cut down. Two of them right next to our canvas gazebo.

They came out yesterday for the estimate and came out today to do the job. No need to get other estimates when you need someone who can put down a tree where they want it to go. (We lost a swing set to a different tree company).

It is so interesting watching a tree drop. In some ways it is sad to me, the trees have been growing for a long time. But it is also something so powerful, the ground vibrates when they fall.

Notice how close the trees were to the gazebo.

A few feet away and no damage. They did a great job for us again. I really like Mike but don't want to see him again too soon! We have a lot of pine trees left in that grove.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Day 2

Today I am thankful for my husband. We have been married almost 19 years and have been through a lot together. Through the military and transitioning to civilian life. Moves and kids issues. Taking care of our parents and foster kids.

He has encouraged me to go back to school. Encourages me to grow. Oh, there are many times that he moans at my creative endeavours. But, when I decided to turn the dilapidated shed into a playhouse he was right there helping with the shingling.

When life gets crazy around here he just steps over the mess.

When I say that I want to adopt another child he goes along on the wild ride. He is a great diaper changer and does his share on the weekends. He watches the kids on Saturday mornings so I can get a breather and go to garage sales.

He supports his family. Even if it means he has to live in an apartment alone during the week because he is too far away to come home every night. We are thankful that he has a good job in these uncertain times. However, it would be nice if he could get a local job!

Best of all, he loves me, even with all my flaws. I love him too, even with all his flaws.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Today I Am Thankful For....... Day 1

Well, life has been throwing some punches lately and I have been struggling to post anything because I don't want to be such a downer all the time. So, lets just say I am struggling right now.

To counteract that I have decided to do Ten Days of "I am Thankful For....". They may be big things, they may be small things. I don't know yet because I don't know what the next 10 days will throw my way.

Today, I am Thankful For God and all that he has created. Thankful for Grace because this mess of a mom sure needs it! Thankful that we have finally found a church home here that we are comfortable in.

Honestly, I have only been saved for about 10 years. We did not go to church when I was a kid. My parents never read us a Bible. We had no religious instruction at all when we were growing up. Of three siblings I am the only Christian.

Some days I feel that I don't measure up to those who have been raised in the church, who say such beautiful prayers. Mine are awkward and not so well worded.

It wasn't long ago that I thought that many Christians were hypocrites. It drew me away from going to church. Then I went to Wayland Baptist Church where we were required to take Bible classes. It may me search and question what my beliefs should be. In the end I realized that my salvation was my responsibility and that I shouldn't allow those detractors to sway me.

I was Baptised in White Pigeon, MI about 10 years ago and it seems like I fall short every day. But, even though I may fall down, I just get back up and try again the next day. Like I said, Grace is a mighty thing to be thankful for.

What about you, what are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Just Plain Busy

I am in the final few weeks of this school semester and it is just a little overwhelming at this point. I just turned in a 38 page project today and have a writing assignment due on Friday that I haven't even started yet. I have two tests next week and then two major papers due.

Tomorrow is the last day that I go to the local schools for observation. I am so glad that this semester is coming to an end. Going to local schools during the day and then college at night while maintaining a household is seriously challenging.

I am also looking for mental health care for Larissa. Her behavior in the last few weeks has gotten so bad that I have had to leave class early to go home. Getting emergency calls in the middle of class are not good. Let me tell you, finding mental health for a 5 year old is hard. There aren't many options where we live. I wonder how far I will end up travelling.

I had signed up for summer classes and then withdrew from them today. When I signed up I didn't know what was around the corner. So, no classes this summer. I will concentrate on being mom.

If you don't see much of me in the next week you will know why.....I am studying and writing up projects.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Some Days it Just Hurts to be a Mom

Lately I haven't been posting as much as I used to. It is not because I don't have anything to say. It is not even because I have been doing hair styles on three little girls. It is because I don't know how to best express the pain of some things without sounding depressing.
Parenting, foster care, adoption....they come with so much pain. Kids struggling with bullying, mental illnesses, physical illnesses, challenging behaviors. How do you balance all the needs? How do you not let it all drag you down?

We have been dealing with some serious behavior problems with Larissa lately. It started about 6 months ago with ADHD type behaviors. I thought for sure that she was over the top hyper. Then not too long ago the tantrums started. Not your normal tantrums. Tantrums where my little girl is replaced by some child we don't recognize that last more then an hour long. Where she is totally out of control.

When she was 4 years old we were told that she had bipolar. We were told that she was going to have more problems then her brother. We thought that he was crazy. We were in denial. After holding my child in my arms after a severe tantrum and having her just collapse I had to face the baby is bipolar. The ADHD is actually a state of manic. Her sleeping problems, long tantrums, nightmares....they all fit.


Some days it just hurts to be a mom.


I cried. I didn't want it to be true. She has so many other struggles, it just didn't seem fair. She is such a sweetie, so loving yet her list keeps growing. We haven't been able to control her seizures, will we be able to help her control the bipolar. I can't afford to be in denial any more, she needs help now.


I struggle now with my decision to go back to school. Is this the time for it? Is it meant to happen? Am I supposed to still be at home? Where does God want me to be?


Yep, some days it just hurts to be a mom.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


In our state they have a foster parent conference. It is really nice. They pay for the hotel, feed you and give you an opportunity to acquire a lot of training hours. Great. . Only problem....they don't offer child care. Hmmmm, what exactly do foster parents do? I am pretty sure it involves lots of kids. Since we have a house full we didn't even try to go this year. The only year we went was when David Pelzer, the author of "A Child Called It", was the speaker. He was definitely interesting! . Since we weren't going we got a call yesterday asking if we could do respite for a 2 year old girl for a few days. I said yes since my house is already in chaos, one child wouldn't make much of a difference. Also, if I wasn't going I might as well help someone else out so that they could go. . So, we have an extra little one until Saturday. She is a cute as a button. . It would have been nice if they would have warned me that she could climb out of the crib! . Well, I am off to see if the little one has escaped again. (excuse the spacing, this seems to be a big issue lately)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Weight off my Shoulders

I have been growing my hair out so that I could donate it. Locks of Love needed 12 inches, but Pantene only needed 8 inches. So, I got Tasha to cut off my ponytail. My long hair was driving me crazy!

Well, the scissors weren't too sharp and the cut not too straight.

Larissa was in on the action and cutting her "pizza". I hope that tomorrow she isn't cutting hair!

My partner in crime.

Definitely more then 8 inches, I will get it in the mail tomorrow. I decided to go with the Pantene program

The hair goes towards making wigs for women with cancer. LaverndernOldJeans and Georgia Mommy, this is to you.

The new, lighter me!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

For my Texas friends. . Beautiful weather here in South Carolina this weekend. We spent a lot of time outdoors.

There is a bee in the picture below. I was enjoying playing with my camera. I haven't really had much time to learn all that it can do. All the flower pictures are natural, I did not do any altering of their color.

First set of roller blades.

I was actually a little concerned that Anthony would not be willing to learn to roller blade. Normally he would not be willing to fall. The picture below shows a lot of growth on his part. There was a time that such a fall would have sent him into a major fit.

We had a great weekend. I didn't get any studying done but I will as soon as I post this. I need to, the semester is getting short.


On Friday we were supposed to have a visit from the adoption social worker. However, she didn't show. Typical.


We did get to our passport appointment on Friday and applied for passports for the four youngest kids. Hopefully all is in order and we get them soon. Our summer vacation plans have changed because of the issues going on in the world. We are now going to take a cruise, our first cruise. We will leave out of Tampa, anyone have any suggestions with what to do in Tampa for a day?

Saturday, April 2, 2011

How's Jo?

Joselin has decided that she is living on her bed. She does not leave her room except to go to school, go to church with us (because we make her go since we don't trust her home alone) and to sneak down at night to get food and do her chore. She does not eat with the family. Does not come down to associate with us in any way. We are no longer her family on facebook, although we are still friends............ . I have told her that she needs to get a job but she has not made any attempt to do so. The psychologist at her IEP meeting suggested that she look for a job last week......still no attempt................... I have asked her why she was sneaking boys into the house when I was allowing her to go out. She hasn't given me an answer.................... She will talk to me in the morning when we drive to school and when we go to church. She is often annoyed by my simple requests. She does not have much responsibilities in the home. All of the child care when I am in school has fallen onto Sarah's shoulders. Tasha helps out when she is here but she has gotten a job...................... I am beginning to think that I should give her more chores and not less. She should have more responsibilities in the home. She is a part of the home as long as she lives here and should contribute. I am thinking along the lines of yard work since I don't trust her with the kids and all the stuff in the house. ................................ I few times a week I search her room for our stuff. I have told her that if it isn't hers it shouldn't be in her room. Dad.........that flashlight you were looking for.....I found it. Along with the scissors I was looking for and the duct tape. Small items, but items I have told her to stop taking to her room. I have found items in her room that I know were in my bedroom, this really makes me mad............................ . I have filled out paperwork for her to see a therapist at school. I know that it is futile but I try. ............................. Honestly, I am not sure what else I can do. It is pretty much up to her at this point. She is going to actually be 19 in a few months. She is not making wise choices for herself. (blogging issues with spacing....came out as one huge paragraph and I can't get spacing my normal route)