Friday, March 30, 2012

Proof That I Do Cook

I don't talk about cooking too much on my blog. I assume everyone thinks we eat junk food all the time. However,  I do occasionally find the time to cook.

On the menu tonight was country fried steak with mashed potatoes and gravy along with carrots.

It took three skillets full of meat to feed all of us, 5 lbs of potatoes and two large bags of baby carrots.  If you notice, none of the pots are small.

Gravy, thickened is a must.

No gravy boat for us, this is a large serving bowl.

Small steak for a kid.

Uh, I am also a messy cook and I strongly dislike the flat cooktop.

How do you make your country fried steak?  I dip mine in flour that has pepper, salt and garlic added.  Then I dip it in and egg and milk mixture.  I dip it once again in the flour mixture and then fry it.  I use the extra flour mixture for the gravy.


I bought my plane ticket to Guatemala. Before I did that I rechecked the summer classes that I need to take were on the first summer session...they were.  One ticket cost me a little over $800.  Flying to Guatemala isn't too cheap!  Now I need to raise my mission money.

Yesterday I went to a meeting for student teaching.  I have a lot to do by the 15th of April to include finger printing...again.  I also got an unwanted surprise, one of the classes that I need to take got changed to the second session.  My trip is now smack dab in the middle of the summer session that I didn't plan on attending.  I was not too happy.  They said that maybe I should cancel the mission trip.  I said that I didn't plan on it, I would just have to take the class next summer (this class is only offered in the summer) and student teach in the fall of 2013.  I thought I was on track to student teach in the spring of 2013.  They are contemplating changing it back to summer session 1 and they will let me know next week. I wait to see if I should pay for fingerprinting at this time or not. 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

My Kitchen

Uh, well.....slowwww going but I am still working on the kitchen redo.

Our laminate counter tops came in so we have slowly been putting them in.  We cut the hole for our sink.

We got the sink to fit is very nerve racking to cut that laminate yourself!

Then John started his training position.  He came home from work to hook up the plumbing and realized that the line to the dishwasher needed replacing.  Trip to Lowe's and then it was too late to get it done.

After three days of no water in the kitchen I called these guys......

It was the best $109 I have spent in a long time!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Elder Care

Let me be honest, as a nation we don't take care of our elderly very well.  As a caregiver it sucks.

Next Monday is my moms recertification day.  She has been receiving OT, PT, nursing, speech and help with baths for the last 14 weeks.  Today they told me that they don't feel that she is progressing well enough to recertify for another 14 weeks.  They think that she needs residential therapy.  However, to receive residential therapy she has to be hospitalized for 3 days.  My other option is to put her in a nursing home.

My moms current level of care is very high.  She has gotten to the point where she can get out of bed by herself using a walker and she can get to her wheelchair a few feet away.  I have been working on increasing the distance to the wheelchair but she just doesn't have the muscle tone due to 18 months spent vegetating in a nursing home.  She needs someone to be at home with her all the time.  I am the only one who can change her depend which means I have to watch my time away from home.  She has to have her medications given to her and all her meals prepared for her.  She has to have help to dress and bathe.  Yep, the level of care that she needs is very high.

Some days I wonder how much longer I can keep it up. Without the extra help coming in it will be even more difficult.  I was able to time longer periods of time away with the bathing person coming.  That little luxury will be gone next week.

I will see how the next few weeks go and see if I can find other resources.  I feel as though I need to look into nursing homes and that makes me sad.  At least if my mom is in a nursing home here I can o and visit her regularly.  Sometimes being a daughter is hard.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


This is a very busy week in our household.  First, the fountain is not fixed.  Sadly what I used to seal it did not seal.  This will obviously require a trip to Lowe's and I just don't have the time right now.

Yesterday John and I had the pleasure of sitting in the basement of our courthouse for over 2 hours  for our teen.  The way court works is they tell you what time to be there and then you get to sit and wait until your case is called.  We waited 2 hours for a 5 minute court session.  The case did get changed to TPR so we are moving on to the next phase.  After court the teen's adoption worker came by our house to start that process.  Which reminds me, she was supposed to call me today, hmmm.

Today I got to travel to the big city to take the two little ones to a visitation.  The dad came but the mom was a no-show.  She came one month which was just enough to confuse the kids terribly.  The dad asked to talk with me and I did.  He wanted to know how the girls were doing and I gave him a brief update.  He also thanked me for taking care of the girls and gave me too much information about biomom!  I also got to meet the girls new adoption worker and ask the SW about the TPR filing which was supposed to be done months ago.  The dad brought the girls books instead of candy which I really appreciated.  Those books will be around a lot longer then the candy would have been.

Actually I would have preferred to not have visitation today because Dimples has been on a bad run.  Ever since we had the therapy appointment she has been acting up.  I am not sure what it is.  My guess would be that she actually had a problem being in a small room with only me and having me in charge.  She deflected most of the time by concentrating on food which she never mentioned once we left the room.  Either way, we are back a few months in the behavior department.  I will be curious to see how this type of therapy goes.

Then I got to go see the doctor this afternoon.  I have been having headaches and am just so tired.  He thinks that I am having tension headaches from too much stress.  Ah, I don't think so.  I think that I have some type of virus.  That is what I get for seeing the male doctor instead of my usual female doctor.  On a good note my blood pressure was 114/70 so the headaches aren't from high blood pressure.  My mom had a stroke from high blood pressure and every other relative (dad, brothers, grandparents) have high blood pressure so I keep expecting to get it. 

Tomorrow I will be taking Anthony to the big city to see a psychologist.  Which reminds me that I need to gather some of his testings.  I will rush home from that to get him home and head to class. 

Thursday I have a meeting about student teaching.  I am losing focus on school and am struggling to do my class assignments.  I need to take two classes over the summer and really don't want to.  I need a break.  However, the classes aren't offered in the fall so I have no choice.  In the fall I will have only one class to take and certification tests to do.  Then in the spring I will do student teaching and be finished.  The next logical step would be to find a job.  Right now I worry about that.  At least by then Dimples will be going into 1st grade.

Well, I am off to bed to fall asleep with my book in hand.  Perhaps I will get a few pages read! 

Have a great evening.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Someone Loves My Yard

I guess our yard isn't the most beautiful to our neighbors. However, there are many others who love it.

The bees love it and are all over my many flowers. (Can you see the bee?)

The cats love it.  Lots of moles, voles, squirrels, birds, lizards and even butterflies to catch.

The kids love it because there is so much dirt that can be scattered everywhere......even in places where I don't want it.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

My Neglected Yard

Our neighbor told my husband that our yard is in sad shape.  Yep, it is.  Between my duties as a mom, wife, daughter and student my time is pretty much taken up.  I don't have time to go out and do yard work.  I pretty much have the philosophy that if I plant something it has two options, grow or die.

Unfortunately, the weeds seem to  plant themselves and grow with great abandon.  I would like to know who determined that the green stuff that likes to grow is weeds and the green stuff that doesn't like to grow is grass!  Also, why is the weed barrier not called a weed attraction?  Weeds love to grow into my weed barrier making them difficult to pull out.

So much neglect.  I even had two lights broken.  None of the lights were working.  Tiny light bulbs fixed the lighting problem and I was able to use parts from the two broken lights to make one light.  I need to see if  I can get a replacement for the one light.  I imagine that the style has changed.

They know us personally at Lowe's.

I took apart the fountain and put in a new pump.  I had to seal the hole where the plug goes through so I won't know until tomorrow if I got it set up right.  The fountain hasn't worked in over a year.

I took a break and fed the kids a nutritional dinner.

Does it look better?  I sure hope so because I may not be able to move tomorrow.  I got nothing else accomplished today.

I didn't get all the plants in the ground.  I am bad about that....keeping plants in their containers too long.  Hopefully I will finish them this week. (I really want that hose hook up moved!)

Afterwards I had to take a trip to Walmart.  John was planting a tree and put the knife into his arm.  The kids used up all the band aids so we were challenged to stop the flow of blood.  He probably could have used a stitch to close it up but he made do with a butterfly closure. 

I hadn't taken a shower yet so I tried my best to avoid anyone I knew at Walmart.  Small town means everyone shops there.  I was lucky enough to only see one person I knew.  Our Walmart plays Christian music.  It can be calming after a long day.  Does your Walmart play Christian music? 

Tomorrow we have a court date for the teen and an adoption worker visit.  This entire week is going to be very busy so I don't expect to get much accomplished.

How does your yard look?

Friday, March 23, 2012

Parent-Child Interaction Therapy

Today I started a new therapy with the girls called Parent-Child Interaction Therapy.  Honestly, I had never heard of it before.  Before we started this therapy I had to commit to completing the 12 week program.  It was very interesting.  I was in a room with an ear piece and the therapist told me to things with the girls while she observed.  The girls knew that she was watching in the next room and was talking with me.

First I worked with Lily.  We sat in the room with 4 different options for play.  For the first 5 minutes she got to pick what we did.  She wanted to color and write.  We made a family book together.  She wanted me to be involved with her.  After 5 minutes it was my turn to pick an activity.  She didn't want to change activities and tried to negotiate.  After 5 minutes of my activity I was told to have her pick up the toys and put them in the corner.  Lily had a problem with that, she felt I should help and didn't like the control but she did comply.

Next I worked with Dimples doing the same things.  She also wanted to draw first but didn't seem to care if I interacted with her or not.  She started asking me if we were going to stop on the way home for food.  She continued to ask that the entire session with me answering her no every time.  When we got to change to my activity she was very willing and then was willing to clean up.  She didn't even seem to notice or care that I wasn't picking up. 

It was interesting how differently both girls reacted during their sessions.  Lily didn't want to give up control but wanted interaction versus Dimples who didn't seem to mind the control and wasn't to interested in interaction.

Today we were there to get the baseline and according to the therapist they will be training me to do my own play therapy.  This program is supposed to help with attachment issues as well as parenting issues.  They will only do it if they think the girls will not go home because of the attachment aspects.  It will be interesting to see how the next 11 weeks go.

Anyone ever do Parent-Child Interaction Therapy?


Last night for some reason I looked at the South Carolina photolisting for adoptable children.  I hadn't looked at it in months since receiving my two little ones.  Before receiving the girls I looked at it almost daily to see if any new kids had been added.  Yes, it was an obsession.

Since I hadn't looked at it since October of last year I guess I was expecting to see all new faces.  Not so, there were many faces there that I recognized.  There were even some kids that I had inquired about still there.  I know why they weren't a match for our family but surely there is someone out there for them.  Some of the children really needed to be the only children in the family, or youngest by far.

I pretty much concentrated my efforts in our state.  I saw some kids in other states that looked like they would match and even sent a few interest emails out.  However, since I figured that they looked in state first before going out of state I didn't concentrate that way.  I saw some kids in NC that really interested me but they wanted to stay in state.

It was pretty much a frustrating and exciting time.  You hear all the ads about how so many children need homes then you struggle to bring some home.  It is not until you start looking that you realize how abuse/neglect and staying in the  foster system negatively effects these children and their ability to function in a family environment. 

Funny, after all that searching I received a call for kids that were not even on the radar.  Our adoption worker advocated for us and we were considered for an at risk placement.  I guess you just never know how it will all play out in the end.

I noticed a change in our photolisting.  There are a lot more teens on it.  Our state is pushing to get teens out of permanent foster care and into families.  After all, family is for life.  I don't care how old you are, you need a family to rely on, even if just for advice.  Honestly, with Joselin I would have strongly advised against such an older child.  God had a way of showing me wrong and brought us our 16 year old teen.  Now I would tell folks that if they are able to adopt a teen to consider it.  There just may be a child out there for you.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Mission Trips

Anyone come here earlier today and notice the donate button on the side?  I was playing with it earlier trying to get it to work and it was so difficult to do that I didn't want to take it off and try it again when I could sit down and write a post.

Actually, it was hard for me to put that on my blog.  I typically don't ask for things on my blog or in person beyond prayers.  We are pretty used to finding ways to deal with things on our own.  I have a problem with that.  I have a problem with relying on God.  Yes, I admit it.  It is one of my strong weaknesses.  A friend told me that I needed to post the donate button on my blog because I would be offering the opportunity for someone to give.  So I did.

So, what is up with the missions.  I have mentioned before that Sarah is going on a mission this summer with Teen Missions International.  When we first discussed it she was concerned about the expense ($4500 plus the cost of getting to FL) but I told Sarah to commit to it and then the rest will follow.  Sarah is blessed with a giving sister, Tasha has offered to double everything that Sarah is able to raise.  We will make this happen for Sarah.  She is graduating this year and plans on going to college to work in the mission field.  She has been my biggest helper while I have been in school.  She is such a blessing to me.  If you feel led to help Sarah with the expense of her mission trip you can either donate using paypal (not a tax write off) or email me and I will send you the paperwork needed so that your contribution can be used as a tax write off.  She can also use your prayers for her training and time in Italy.

Now I said missions.....

I am going on a mission trip as well.  When the opportunity to go on this mission trip was presented my first thought was that I wanted to go, my second thought was that it was not possible for me to go.  After thinking about it I decided to take the advice I gave Sarah and commit to it and the rest will fall into place.  Mostly my challenges are financial and logistical.

I am going to Guatemala in July.  We will be in the coastal plains area where we are going to do church construction, medical, VBS and connect with a community.  Our host is Dr. Hugo Gomez with Global CHE Enterprises, . 

I am very excited about the opportunity to participate in a mission trip to Guatemala.  I have a strong interest in the people of Guatemala and pray that I will be able to contribute in a meaningful way.  If you have an interest in contributing to my mission trip please use the donate box or email me for the address to send tax deductible donations.  Also, we hope to take down lots of little McDonald's type toys.  If you want to contribute in that way please let me know.

Please pray that I find the time to do the fundraising that I need to do.  Both of our trips have to be paid in May and I don't have the free time right now to do fundraising properly.  We will be making some nail crosses very soon to sell and other ideas are in the works.  If you have some great fundraising ideas please let me know.

Looks like it is going to be a very exciting summer!

Monday, March 19, 2012

A New Start

Today my husband started a training position with the State's Executive Office for Human Affairs. He is training under a program with the Veteran's Administration. Hopefully training with this office will eventually lead to a job.

I am going to miss having him around during the day.  It seems like he wasn't home for very long. He was the homework man and he picked up and dropped off the kids at school.  He did a lot of work in the yard but there is still a lot of work left to do!  The poor yard has been neglected for a long time.

We have been working in the kitchen....still.  I may never finish that project.  Sunday we took out the old sink and put in the new one.  We didn't get the plumbing connected and tonight we still don't have water in the kitchen.  We were trying to hook up the dishwasher drain line and it split.  Late night run to Lowe's and we have the part but not the gumption to pull out the dishwasher.  Hopefully tomorrow we will get water.  In the meantime, not much cooking is happening.

I do have big news....Dimples is upstairs.  She has been upstairs since Friday. Today her bed got taken apart and moved upstairs.  Three girls in one room and it is going normally!  I do still have some rearranging to do.  Everything up there is Larissa's.  There is one desk and it is a normal size room so three desks are not going to fit up there.  I think that I will take the desk out and build a piece for storage for three girls stuff.  I have a plan forming in my mind but am trying to ignore that compulsion since I need to finish that kitchen and this semesters classes first.

Well, I need to get back to painting and then to bed.  Have a great night.

Self Worth

Over the weekend our small town lost two young lives to suicide.  This is a small town, my teen and Tasha each knew one of them.  It saddens me to see kids at the point where they don't think that there is any other way out.  That dying is preferred to living.

I wrote here about my own struggles and suicide attempt when I was younger.  On a certain level I understand that feeling of worthlessness.  I know that if someone had told me back then that tomorrow would be better that it wouldn't have had any impact.  At the time I wasn't a Christian so telling me that Jesus loves me wouldn't have meant anything either.

I think that if someone has told me that I do have worth, that I have value it might have more of an impact.  I wish that at the time someone had told me...... If you feel worthless get out and give of yourself.  Go to the animal shelter and help with the abandoned animals.  Go to the hospital and read to the kids and elderly.  Go to a nursing home and visit the lonely.  Visit the home bound.  Find a way to give.  You can have a positive impact on someones life.  If you sit at home and look at how miserable your life is then you will find misery.  If you sit at home and think of some way to give of yourself to someone and then go out and do it then you will find your worth.

What have you done for someone else lately?

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Things We Say

The things I caught myself saying today:

No, I didn't plan cupcakes for breakfast this morning.......uh, mom.

Please do not wipe your boogers on your sister.

No, we can't trade a sister for a brother.

Uh, no Dimples I am not black.

No, we don't get candy in bed on St. Patrick's Day.

Don't use your sister as a swing. 

Any what have you caught yourself saying lately?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Getting Somewhere

Slowly the house is coming into order.  Uh, not the kitchen though!  Oh, or the clutter either!

The A/C repairman came by to fix the thermostat....which worked perfectly fine by time he got here.  So, we don't have a clue what that was about we just know that it cost us $60.

Gentlemen came by to tell us that our hot water heater definitely needs replacing.  Uh, yea it is kind of rusting out and leaking water two stories above me.  The last time it burst we figured it out by the water dripping off the chandelier in the kitchen.  They went off in search of a replacement and say they will do it tomorrow.  I hope so, I don't want to spend the entire weekend wondering if it is going to burst on us.  Apparently we also need a permit to replace it and disposal is extra.  Nice.  So that repair is $60 plus permit and maybe disposal fee.

The dishwasher repairman is coming over tomorrow after I made a phone call to let them know that it has been more then 30 days since they started working on it.  First they replaced the water pump and door latch.  That didn't fix it so now they are replacing the control panel.  Seems like it would have been cheaper to just replace it.  It is their call....I pay $60.  I am thankful for my home warranty!

I went to Lowe's with Sarah to get some supplies to make an Easter centerpiece and asked about our counter tops.  They shouldn't be in for another week but nope, they are in.  I am not ready!  At some point tomorrow we will go pick them up.  The kids are out of school so who knows.

My kitchen makeover is progressing....very slowly.  It will look so different when I am done.  I realized that I have about 6 more weeks of school left with lots of papers still needing written.  I have the entire month of May off but I hope the kitchen is done by then because I have other plans for that month.  I am taking two classes in June and expect to get nothing accomplished that month. I am ready for my schooling to be finished!

Other then waiting around the house for repairmen and mom's therapies it was a quiet day here. Oh, course I have class on Thursdays and had an assignment due today....that got started and finished today.  But, that is pretty much my norm.

Hey, still looking for ideas for my big, empty fireplace.  Another project for another day!

I am off to study until it puts me to sleep.  Have a great evening.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

I am a Nag

Yes, I nag my children.  I nag them to do their chores.  I nag them to read.  I nag then to do well in school.  I nag them to respect their teachers and other adults they come into contact with.  I nag them about brushing their teeth.

I don't know why they can't remember to do the things that they need to do.  Since they can't, I nag.  I feel as though that is my job. 

Yesterday as I was nagging my teen about her school work she revealed to me that no one had ever pushed her to finish her work before.  No one had checked her homework before.  No one had helped her with her homework.  No one cared if she did it or not.  That may explain why she struggles in school.  She has not been nagged before about her school work! 

I wonder if the kids understand why I is because I care.  I care that they are successful in what they do.  I care that they are literate and graduate from school.  I care that their teeth don't rot out of their mouth.  I care that they learn to do house chores so that they can take care of their own one day.  I care that they grow up to be respectful adults and in turn teach their children to be respectful to adults.

I care, therefore I nag!

Falling Apart

Seems like it is time for everything to fall apart at our house. It all started with my kid hauler. The brakes felt wrong an the heater wouldn't heat. Naturally that meant that the water pump needed replacing which required them to replace the timing belt and basically tear the entire thing apart. The brakes couldn't be simple either, it wasn't only the brakes but the oil that was leaking all over them from some other part bursting and leaking on them. Don't ask me the part because I am not auto mechanic literate.

There used to be a microwave in this spot. It just died. The kids miss it for reheating food and making popcorn.  It is a big opening so unless you want it to look funny you need to replace it with a specific size microwave....which can be ordered from Sears (it will be in on Friday).

Yea, even Jason hit us up for tires.

John went to put something in his truck and the tailgate handle broke off......(ignore the green pollen)

This now matches his broken dial for A/C.....

and my cars broken door handle.

Then the guys who came to take out our gas insert in our fireplace told us our water heater was leaking!  Ack, it is in the attic two floors up.  Not pretty at all.

We had the gas insert taken out because, well, it smelled like gas.  Any suggestions what I should do with the fireplace now.

Last night I went upstairs and wondered why it was so hot. I went to the thermostat and it wasn't on.  No power to it at all.  Not good.  At least it isn't too hot yet.

I don't know why suddenly everything is going bad.  That is the danger of material possessions, they eventually need cleaning, maintenance or repair.  While I am not tempted to go out and live in a cave with no amenities I do often think about how we need to downsize.  However, about that time we decide to add more kids.  We would not have been approved to add 4 kids to our home if we didn't have the appropriate space for them. 

So space can't be downsized but I do admit that clutter can.  However, I have a problem with decluttering.  I can't seem to get rid of stuff!  It is hard when you foster because you have baby stuff, toddler stuff and older kid stuff.  You don't go out and buy all new stuff when you get a call, you pull out whatever is needed for whatever child you receive. 

Of course, foster kid stuff isn't all my clutter.  I also have kid craft stuff, sewing stuff, painting stuff, home repair stuff, woodworking stuff, paperwork, two seasons of clothing and shoes out right now, extra computer and electronic parts, extra blankets and such because of so many bed wetters, more paperwork, school stuff, books galore, movies too many and it goes on. 

It seems like all I do is shuffle stuff around.  Yea, with each shuffle I do get rid of a small portion but not enough to notice!  We aren't bad enough to have the hoarders show over but we do have a lot of "stuff".  What is the appropriate amount of stuff considering we have 7 kids and three adults in the home?  Oh, and we have all of Tasha's stuff here too. 

Anyone else suffer with too much stuff?  Any reformed clutterers out there?  I wonder if it is possible to reform.

Well, have a great day.  I think I am going to go and shuffle some clutter around.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Parenting 101 - Sometimes you Appear to be Very Mean to the Outside World

Parenting children with behavior issues is tough.  Sometimes to the outside world you appear to be very mean.  Consistency is necessary.  To give in to a child because you "feel sorry" for them makes you weak in their eyes.  You also become a target for manipulation and triangulation.

Sunday Lily had a rough day in Sunday school.  She behaved so badly that her teacher didn't know what to do.  So when I went to get Lily she was crying.  She didn't want me to talk to her teacher because she knew that what she had done was not acceptable.  When her teacher saw that Lily was crying she tried to console her and then went to go get her some candy.  I promptly said no to the candy and hustled Lily out to the car.

I knew that her teacher was taken back by my sudden removal of my child so I went back in to talk to her.  She told me that she felt bad for Lily when she saw her crying so she thought she would give her some candy.  However, after talking with me she realized that she wouldn't have offered her own children candy if they had behaved the way she did.  Lily does need compassion and understanding but she also needs to know that there will be consequences for her behaviors regardless of where she is.  She does not need to use the "poor child" status as an opening to inappropriate behavior. 

Next Sunday Lily will get to sit with us during the service instead of going to the children's Sunday school.  All of my children know that this is the consequence to behavior problems during Sunday school.  Anthony and has spent many Sundays with us and Dimples spent a few with us when they first came but lately she has consistently been able to participate without problems.  It is Lily's turn.  Consistency.  Sad thing is, I have had some people complain to me about that consequence.  We consider it to be the most natural consequence we could find.  If you want to participate you will be respectful of your teacher.

In other news:  Lily is now sharing a bedroom with Larissa.  Dimples gets up much earlier then both of the other girls and had been told many times that when she woke up  she needed to come downstairs and not to wake the girls.  Well, at this time that is not possible.  She was telling me today that she wouldn't wake the girls and wants another try.  At some point we will try again, I am just not sure when.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Great Day

The kids played outside most of the day.  They raided my garage and made a bike ramp and later a tent.  Amazingly they didn't come in to tattle for a long time so I sent out nilla wafers and yoo-hoo's as a treat for playing together so well.

Since they were doing so well I decided to take a break from painting and replace the light above the sink.  Of course, once I removed the light I realized that it would be best to paint the area before putting the light in.

My husband helped out with electrical work.

I was concerned that the pendant lighting would produce less light then the fluorescent light but I was wrong.  It lights the sink area up very well.

Yikes, this is why I have cabinet doors.....

I did peek outside frequently to see if the kids were still moving.

We got all our laundry done for a moment when my husband decided to go to the laundromat.  Sometimes with multiple bed wetters it is just easier.

At this moment we are a training wheel free zone!  Dimples conquered the bicycle.

All the girls went to bed in the same room tonight. I sat in the hall reading until two went to sleep and then Sarah sat in the hall on her computer until the last girl went to sleep.  I had to run to Walmart for an emergency milk run...we were on our last gallon.

I hope that your day was a great day too!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Progress Report

I received a call from the teens adoption worker.  We know each other, she was Anthony and Larissa's adoption worker.  She will be visiting at the end of the month and will bring any paperwork that we need to do.  I haven't looked at my homestudy lately but I don't remember if our ages were up to 17.  I doubt it because we weren't thinking teenager when we started our homestudy.  The homestudy may need to be amended to change the age.  We were approved for 4 kids so we fall within that criteria.  I know that our foster care license has to be renewed in June, not sure about the adoption homestudy (they have to be renewed annually).

The girls.....doing so much better.  Still dealing with occasional tantrums and frequent tattling and lying.  Dimples is moving up in age, she is no longer 2.  I would put her at close to 4 year old now!  She still has some emotional issues that we are trying to pinpoint.  We are definitely dealing with attachment issues.  Our new therapist is very familiar with DSS children so her comment was, "given their history naturally they have attachment issues and behavior problems."  She wants to put a stop to the visits.  I am not sure if she will accomplish that or not.  Visits are a very touchy thing.  Doesn't matter if they refuse drug testing or not, visits go on.

All three of the girls are very close.  They sometimes fight and say mean things to each other however, I have been surprised at how quickly they have bonded.  Larissa and Dimples are VERY close.  I believe that this closeness has helped Dimples to grow emotionally. I think that in some ways Lily is more mature.  She has dealt with some issues that Larissa has not.  Also, Lily was very mean when she first arrived so she is having to overcome that.  She wants to but she struggles.

The girls all want to sleep in Larissa's bedroom.  We tried tonight but it didn't go too well.  After thinking about it I just don't think that they know how to sleep together in the same room.  So tomorrow we are going to try again except for this time I am going to sit and study right outside of the bedroom open door and help them out.  Larissa's cries of, "I don't want to be alone" did push me in that direction.  We have had other foster kids who needed that to settle down at night. 

When I was talking about my teens adoption worker Lily started talking about her parents.  It is so confusing to kids when the parents disappear for months and then then reappear as though nothing happened.  Guess what....the kids noticed.  I asked her what she thought about her visitations and she told me that she wondered if they would go back home.  I asked her if she wanted to (expecting that she would, something about that biological home).  She surprised me by saying no, she wants to stay here.  Knowing some of the recent legal things I know I told her that she would be staying and the visits wouldn't change that.  She was relieved.  I am annoyed, not at Lily, but at the lawyer who hasn't filed for TPR.  I know that I have said it before, but dang, they need stabilization.  Not just long term foster care but name changing, your ours forever stabilization. 

Anthony....well he plays with the girls alot but he wants to know when the boys are coming!

On that note, have a great evening.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Being a Pest

When we were foster parents for Anthony and Larissa we were very patient.  It wasn't always easy but we didn't want to do anything to cause our kids to be moved.  We didn't want to rock the boat.

Strange, this time around I find that I am being a pest.  I went up to the county director level and was told by her that they were basically too busy to file for TPR for my kids.  Well, when we signed papers in October we were told that court to change to TPR was on November 3rd and within 90 days they have to file.  My county says that it is actually 60 days.  We are now past 120 days and I am most annoyed.  These girls are in their 7th placement, they need permanence.  Heck, I found the arrest records for the last few months for mom, dad and grandma....lets move along.  No changes have been made in 2 years.

So, today I called someone who advocates for foster parents.  Ha, she knows me and said that I don't need an advocate....I do it quite well.  However, I am frustrated.  I find that I am just not patient with this case.  I would like for Dimples to start kindergarden with her new name and not have to change it during the school year.  I want for the girls to have permanency.  Ugh....

Our teen.....movement!  We recieved paperwork for a court date at the end of this month.  This is to change to TPR and my county says that it then has 60 days to file for TPR.  It would be strange if we were able to adopt our teen foster child who was supposed to run before we can adopt our adoptive placement.  I have been pushing for movement in this case too.  Out teen will be 17 this summer, soon she will be an adult legally.  It doesn't matter how old you are, you need a family to support you.  Our teen moved right in and just "fit" with our crazy family.  We aren't perfect, but we are family.

Conversation fo the day......

Lily getting forks for the table:  "How many of us are there?"
Larissa:  "A whole bunch! Grab them all."


Monday, March 5, 2012


DSS called again.  Apparently they still haven't changed their board to show that we are full.  Our state allows only 5 kids under the age of 18 in a foster home so we are full.  Twice now the have called with placements.  Today it was a 15 year old and baby.  Would have been interesting....but we are full.

Interesting Day

After complaining about my inability to control my overabundance I went blog hopping.  When I got to Foster2Forever she had posted about Compassion International.  Yep, I was convicted.  I decided to sponsor a kid who had been waiting more than 6 months.  I looked in Guatemala since that is my country of interest but there were no kids there who had waited 6 months.  I headed over to Ghana expecting to find a bunch of boys who needed sponsoring.  I found a 6 year old girl who had been waiting more than 6 month and I decided to sponsor her.  After all, we have our share of 6 year old girls here!
I assume that I can post that information here.  If not someone please tell me! 

As I was filling out the forms I thought to myself that I must be crazy.  My husband is unemployed and I am committing to another child.  As I was finishing the process the phone rang for my husband.  Someone from the HR department at the Governor's office was calling to interview him for an OJT job.  Tomorrow he will interview.  I don't know if anything will come of it, but the timing was mighty interesting.

I really didn't accomplish much today except for sponsoring a child and giving my mom a shower.

The night is young yet, I may do some sock matching.

Say a prayer for my husband if you are so inclined.  I pray that he is able to find the type of employment that gives him the sense of fulfillment that he wants.

Gumption's Gone

Someone has taken my gumption.  I sit here in a terribly messy house with many projects that need done and I have no motivation to do any of them.  The kids can't find matched socks in the morning and aren't persuaded when I tell them that it is now popular to wear unmatched socks!  I did start on my mom's laundry since she has the least amount of clothing in the house.  She is about naked and although I don't mind, I think that it might traumatize the kids.

I typically don't drink coffee but I am sitting here sipping on some hoping for some burst of energy.  So far, no luck!  This is my spring break so I should spend this time catching up on my Wiki and reading for class.  I am sure that I will procrastinate on that.  I do need to get to the post office today and will get to that after lunch time...or so.

Maybe if I cleaned house I would feel more motivated.  There are many things I do with great joy in life, cleaning house is not one of them.  That has always been my biggest shortcoming.  Apparently my kids all got that gene from me!  Sorry kids.  I have had friends who had spotless homes.  I would walk into their houses and they would apologize for the mess.....uh, what mess.  Their homes were spotless.  I dread to think of what they thought of my home!

Obviously my messy house is annoying me today and I am not feeling the energy to fix the problem.  Well, maybe I will start on my desk area again.  I haven't made too much progress there but I did bring in a drawer/filing system that was sitting upstairs.  I sure miss my friend Kim.  She has the audacity to move out of state.  Sometimes she would get so disgusted with my home and would come over and help out.  Her house always smelled of bleach. 

I think that my biggest problem is clutter.  What to do with all this stuff?  Kids stuff, moms stuff, foster stuff, clothing that is out of season (for a day or two), Tasha's stuff, paperwork, paperwork and paperwork, stuff, stuff and more stuff.  Some of it I just don't know where to put.  Funny, we have a huge house and nowhere to put everything.  That is scary.  Right now I don't have a craft area.  I have tubs sitting around filled with my craft stuff and nowhere to put it....all my rooms are filled at this time.  How terrible to complain about having too much stuff.  I guess I should look at it ad feel blessed with overabundance. 

I am trying to pick a time to move the girls upstairs.  After considering it for awhile I realize that there really isn't any way to just move one.  I think that all three girls are going to have to share a room.  Keeping just one girl out would not be fair.  What do you do with three girls....ages 5, 6 and 6?  So, I need to take out the desk and put a single bed in there sometime.  If we could control the pee issue then they could move upstairs.  John is concerned about the horse playing.  Yea, that will happen but I think it would happen with typical girls ages 5 and 6.  After the move upstairs then I would need to decide what to do with that room.  I am not sure if Anthony would want to come down or stay upstairs. Either way.....craft room!

Well, I guess I best get off this computer.  I hear the drying binging and I need to clear a path to my bathroom.  We got our door widened, shower doors off and I put a shower chair together this morning....time for a shower for my mom.  No more wheelchair hair washings.

Have a great day.  Wish me luck in accomplishing more than showering my mom....and whoever has my gumption, please return it, I really need it!

Sunday, March 4, 2012


Larissa wanted to learn how to bead this weekend. 

I am not sure where I got the idea of using pipe cleaners to bead but I experimented with different items before I decided that I liked the pipe cleaners the best.  The beads stay on better and slide easily.

Larissa was quite intent with her beading. 

Sometimes it is the small things in life that make me aware of how much I love being a momma.  Watching my kids learn a new skill is such a pleasure.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Having Fun

Tulle....50% off at Hobby Lobby

Elastic safety pinned to fit little girls waists.

Tulle wrapped around a chair and then cut once to make strips.

Strips attached to the elastic.

Blessed with one helper...

Equals three girls ready to party.

The birthday girls mom sure did a beautiful job decorating.  She says that she used Pinterest.

One lovely girl I can post pictures of.

Oh, I made bows too.

How has your weekend been so far?