Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Zoo

We packed up our little foldable wagon and headed to the zoo today.  We actually had quite a few people ask us where we purchased the wagon from.  It is quite handy.

Most of us fed the birds which is always fun.  I got some great shots of Lily....which I can't share!  Anthony wouldn't feed the birds, he says he doesn't want to get pooped on!

Larissa wasn't quite sure that she liked the birds to be so close.

The kids also did some rock climbing.

That is about as high as Dimples ever got...

My little climber Larissa made it to the top twice.  She was the only one to make it to the top today. 

Naturally we saw quite a few animals too.

When I asked the girls if they had ever been to the zoo before they both said yes.  I wasn't sure since they say they have done everything and in reality have done very little.  I got a clue that they had not been to a zoo when Dimples asked me if we were going to spend the night.  Lily finally fessed up and said that they had not been to a zoo before.

I am actually going to bed before midnight.  Corralling the 7 kids I took today wore me out.  I came home with 7 kids....even the same ones I left with.  I guess that makes it a successful day!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

It's the Little Things

Day in and day out it is the little things that wear you down.  The constant tattling with two kids in the lead, Anthony and Lily.  The constant comparisons.  The constant need for reassurance.  The constant food issues.  The constant need to keep a 5 and 6 year old within sight when they want to sneak off.  There are reasons that they want to sneak off....not good ones.

Little things like Lily purposely damaging Anthony's Christmas gift.  Little things like Dimples claiming everything she puts her hands on is hers.  The lies.  The anger.  The lack of respect.  The unwillingness to follow house rules.  These things wear you down. 

They are not huge in themselves but they are constant.  True, if I recall the early days I see that they have improved.  There are good periods.  There are close moments.  Sometimes there is even the truth.

There are times when they tattle about such strange things that I laugh.  There are days that the behaviors are so over the top that I can only laugh.  If I didn't laugh then perhaps I would cry.  It is best to laugh and see the craziness of our lives.

Yesterday someone told Lily that she was crazy.  She came to me to tattle.  I told her that I was crazy too so maybe it isn't such a bad thing.  Today she asked me why I put my head to the side when she tattles.  I told her that was a sign that what she was tattling about is not worth tattling about.  I didn't want to tell her that it was me trying not to laugh at her tales of woe.  You know, that someone breathed on her or perhaps even looked at her funny.

So, tomorrow we are taking a break....I am taking the kids to the zoo.  (I promise not to leave anyone behind)

Pray for me.

My Life.....Really

How about bringing my mom back into the picture?  Last summer I was prepared to bring my mom home.  The nursing home said that the move would be detrimental for her so I decided not to bring her. 

In the last week I have been feeling a pull to bring her home again.  My brothers are still not visiting her.

Today my mom called and asked me when am I coming to pick her up.  I told her the end of January....uh, yikes!  So, she will be here the end of January....lots to do though.  She was calling from her therapists phone and I asked to talk to him.  He said that he sees her every week and every week she asks when am I coming for her.  He feels that the nursing home is wrong and that she would do fine with the move and needs to be near family.

So...researching again.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Holidays With Neglected Children

Holiday time is supposed to be a joyful time.  However, for a foster child that may not be the case.  Holiday time may be a time when behaviors come out that you never expect.  Everyone is busy, routines are changed, stress levels are high and past memories may not be joyful for them.  It is possible that they may equate holidays with abuse.

It has become quite apparent that Dimples does not do holidays well.  Her anxiety level gets so high that her tantrums erupt.  She also does not do so well when I leave home.  John and I went on a movie date today and she screamed at home through most of it.  I have some serious concerns about Dimples.  She is a very bright child but emotionally she is more like a 2 to 3 year old child.  She even requires a sippy cup.  I hope that time will help with this but it almost feels like something is our of balance with her.

I did learn something new this weekend.......Lily was often punished when Dimples misbehaved.  Every time Dimples had one of her tantrums Lily would come to me and ask me if I was mad at her.  Each time I told her I wasn't, her sister's behavior belongs to her and not Lily.  At dinner time Lily asked me again and I told her that each child is responsible for their own actions.  That was when she told me that when her sister got in trouble she was punished along with her.  Nice...add this to the number of homes who told her that she had to move because of her sister.  I know that each time her sister tantrums Lily has to have a gut wrench feeling that she will be moved again.  That is not a way for a child to live.  I also think that it is the reason that she wants a name change...a claiming.

Tomorrow it is back to the appointment mode as I take two kids to the big city.  It feels like my time to accomplish things is quickly coming to an end.  After the stress level of last semester, I am only taking two classes next semester to keep my workload at a manageable level.

I am off to read some blogs and head to bed after doing a little pick up.  Eventually our home will get back to its normal messiness.

Have a great day.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

We've had a Merry Christmas

Our day was great.  The kids got up bright and early and opened their gifts. Tasha was able to join us through Skype, it was better then nothing.  Apparently we made her dizzy.  Next year she will be home for Christmas so she can see why she was dizzy!. 

For the record, Larissa got up first.
(There are two kids in that pile)

Everyone was happy with what they got.  There were no complaints.  My concerns about comparing and such were unfounded.

We took a break from playing and went to church. It was nice having church on Christmas.

When I look at this picture of Anthony I can see how much he has grown.  He is finally growing into his two front teeth.  He also looks so much more.....uh, relaxed.  His behaviors have really improved in the last year and to me it shows in his face......strange, I know.  Hard to explain.

I got the right dancing dolls and the girls were happy to get their own art boxes made by elves. (Larissa taped those pictures to the wall weeks ago)

The girls loved their Nintendo DX's and the wagon.  John says that is the strangest wagon he has ever seen but I got it to take on trips since it folds up. (Larissa asked for a wagon)

Not only was it a first Christmas for Lily to receive what she asked for, it was also a first Christmas for our teen to have a stocking.  It was also our teens first Christmas in a long time to get surprise gifts.  We had a lot of fun with her this morning because she had one blue box that she was most curious about....we waited to have her open it last.  I knew it was a digital camera and she was delighted with it.

The two little ones received some gifts from DSS.  Mainly craft supplies and Barbies.  I was asked what they liked and I gave them that information.  They also asked my teen what she liked but she never received anything.  I wasn't too concerned since we had already purchased everything for her as if she was our own.  However, there are some foster parents that do not do that.  My challenge to everyone for next Christmas is to pick an angel off of the angel tree for a teen.  People don't pick their cards like they do the little ones and teens are often left out.  Teens need to receive just as much as little ones do.  Someone remind me to put that challenge out there next year!

I am exhausted and hope to get in to bed before midnight tonight.  It seems as though a mom's job is never done.  Even on Christmas we are cleaning, cooking and doing laundry.  One day I hope to cruise on Christmas and really take a break!

I hope that everyone else had a great day.

Have a great evening.

(Anyone going after CHristmas shopping?  I have decided not to.)

Our Day

 Our pine cones from our walk yesterday.

The kids decorated them.  They all did I just can't post the other pictures!  Lily notices that I post pictures and it upsets her that I can't post her picture.  I guess it means the difference between permanently ours and not.  Those little differences are noticed by even the young ones.

Today I ran out to KMart and bought some webcams so we could skype with Tasha.  It sure was nice to see my kid live and well.  The kids opened their gifts from her while on the webcam.  Tomorrow she will join us for gifts opening in the morning.  I sure miss her.

Then Pam came over and we swapped gifts......

Later the kids opened their Christmas Eve gift....pj's.

They had baths and put on their new pj's for cookie making.  For some reason I can never seem to get two matching attachments for my mixer.  One day I will get one of those fancy standing mixers.

The kids put our cookies and milk for Santa and reindeer food.  Dimples was fast asleep by this time, she didn't have a nap today....that really isn't a good thing.

Santa came.  This little car was picked up for free at the dump and got painted.

Not everything under the tree is new and store bought.
(I sure hope those are the right dancing dolls because we now have 3 of them)

The house is quiet now.  All the kids are in bed to include the teenagers.
Tomorrow will be crazy fun.

Merry Christmas to all my friends who celebrate.

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." - Isaiah 9: 6

Friday, December 23, 2011

Keeping Them Busy

We had beautiful weather today so we headed to the woods.

So many day you will get to actually see them.

(Just because I thought it looked cool.)

Someone hitched a ride.

Tomorrow we are making Christmas trees out of the pine cones we gathered.

Merry Christmas Eve!

Angela, it worked!

Permanent marker before Magic Eraser.....


Blue Skies

We have blue skies with an expected temperature of 69 degrees today.  Looks like a great day for a walk through the woods.  Uhhh.....I hope we don't encounter any poison ivy!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

One of Those Days

It was a rough day here for home and property.

This is my newly refinished dining room table after a kid got a hold of my permanent markers and did art on the table.....

Kitchen cabinet after a kid decided to hang off of it.  For some reason it didn't take too kindly to it.....

My poor dishwasher.  Whoever decided to have the rack supports made out of plastic was crazy.  Currently ours is held together by a piece of a coat hanger.  The dishwasher is less then a year old so Kitchenaid did come out and service it.  We received new pieces of plastic in the mail but the coat hanger is working fine......

We did have fun today.  We let the kids loose with chocolate, sprinkles and pretzels.

Larissa was very meticulous and worked very hard.  The top pretzels are her creations.

Some just liked to eat the chocolate.......... (I think that her face is obscured enough to post this)

For some reason I just love this picture of Larissa.  Such concentration.

We have had rain the last few days with really warm weather.  If the rain stays away tomorrow we are taking the kids on a nature walk and let them gather potential art supplies.  However, if it rains all day then we will stay in and the kids will drive me crazy because I have nothing else planned.

What are you doing to keep your kids busy?  Obviously I am not doing enough since they are tearing up my house!

Dancing Dolls

Today I took Larissa to the dentist. Her last dentist wanted to put 5 crowns on her teeth. I didn't agree so I found a new dentist. Funny, her new dentist said she doesn't have 5 cavities so she can't imagine how she would need 5 crowns, actually she needs none. Interesting.

The new dentist is very nice and she talked a lot with Larissa. The fact that Larissa responded to her brings me great joy. The dentist asked her what she wanted for Christmas. Larissa tells her a doll, whew, I am safe. Then she adds a dancing doll! What!? I have not heard of this dancing doll before. Four days before Christmas and I am just hearing about this dancing doll. Geez.

So later I am cooking dinner with my cooking partner Lily and she talks about Christmas. She says that she hasn't really gotten what she wanted for Christmas before. She has told me a million things she wants for Christmas (you know, EVERYTHING she sees on commercials) so I ask her what she wants for Christmas. You probably guessed it, a dancing doll! Larissa was sleeping so I know that they didn't conspire on that one.

What is up with this dancing doll? Apparently it is advertised on a commercial. Perhaps TV needs to be banned next December. I don't watch TV so I can only guess what they are talking about. Is it possible to get only two dancing dolls when I have three little girls? Why do I bother to shop early? They change their minds so much.

I did receive an email telling me that my ant order is being processed. Yep, ants. Have you ever had an ant farm? When I was little we used to collect ants in a jar of dirt and watch them build their tunnels. This shall be interesting.

Santa's elves came by this evening to make some art boxes. OK, maybe I threw a couple together for the girls so they can have their own. Since my Christmas budget is now nothing I used wood left over from other projects.

Tomorrow morning I have one more dentist appointment and then no more this week.  I will be appointment free until the 27th.  

Anyone know about the dancing doll?  I guess I will watch Dora tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Still Busy

John took Larissa to Augusta for the second part of her testing.  This required an IV.  I am so very much thankful that I was not there!  It took them 5 tries to get the IV.  If I had been there I am afraid that they would not have been able to do the test, we would have been out of there.  I can not stand watching my kids screaming while folks poke them.  She did make out with the goodies.  They gave her a nice wooden puzzle and a stuffed Pooh and Tigger.  As usual, we do not know the results of the testing yet.

I got to take the new kids to the therapist.  This therapist came highly recommended and is almost an hour away.  I am about ready to fire this therapist.  She really hasn't had anything good to say.  She hasn't read the paperwork on the girls after two visits.  Today she even said that maybe the girls should be moved.  We were shocked.  Later she told us that she really didn't have much to help with since we seemed to know what to do.  Well, uh, thanks I guess.  I am wondering why I thought we needed a therapist. 

Anthony used to go to one but that didn't last long since the therapist wanted to compare him to her son all the time.  Yea, as though her son lived in a totally neglected situation the first few years of his life.  Sorry, there was no comparing.  Then the two therapists we tried for Joselin....well, that was a waste of time and money.  The therapist for Larissa because she wouldn't talk....she quit on us because Larissa wouldn't talk.  Well, duh that was why we were seeking a play therapist.  I guess we just don't have a good track record as far as therapists go.

Then I got to visit the post office.  I had no idea that they had started closing for lunch.  Naturally they just started doing that this month.  Makes a lot of sense, I would assume that December is the busiest time of the year for the post office.  So I got to sit and wait for them to come back because I knew that if I left I would not make it back.  In spite of my procrastination I got a care package out to Tasha and gifts to the grand kids.

Tomorrow we get to go visit the doctor and the dentist.  Then, I think that I will finally get around to making that fudge.  Chocolate always makes me happy.

Have a great day.

Monday, December 19, 2011


 Sarah and I decided that we wanted to make Anthony a nail cross.  He likes jewelry so he will be thrilled.  Sarah plans on making some to sell for her mission trip funding.  I thought it came out really nice.

We had to make another batch of the Rolo stuff for Tasha.  I have no idea what type of shape it will be in by time it reaches Kuwait.  I imagine it will be a tasty mass of chocolate, caramel, pretzel and pecan.

I have been trying to clean up my desk because I know that classes will start back up before I am ready.  It seems like everything conspires against me.

So are you ready for Christmas?

I am not.  I have had to scrap some projects that I wanted to make and adjust my expectations for myself.  There just doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day.

All the presents are bought here.  My idea to downsize didn't seem to work out too well.  I don't know if it is the sheer number of kids we have or not but the tree is packed.  

Tomorrow John and Larissa head back to Augusta to do the second part of her testing.  The meds have reduced the number of seizures but they are still there.  I sure hope that they can come up with answers after all this testing.

This week is full of appointments.  Multiple medical, dental, mental health and therapists. 
Doesn't seem like much of a break this year..

I guess I am trying to find my Christmas spirit and it has gotten lost in all the busyness.

Anyone else feel that way?