Monday, April 30, 2012


I have finished another semester of school.  Sorry I was gone so long, I was struggling over a paper.  It was about the educational challenges of youth in foster care.  Before I started the paper I didn't realize how disadvantaged they were in school.  The graduation rate for foster kids is terrible.  The homeless rate is high after they emancipate.  There are programs that help but without a good mentor/parent life is hard.  Imagine not having anyone to rely on or to be able to call on when you are having challenges...or when you just need someone to talk to.  It was the most depressing paper I have ever had to write.

Actually, it made me wonder if we are doing enough.  When you know there is a problem what do you do?  It is so much easier to ignore it.  Sometimes it seems as though there are so many issues and so many people hurting that it makes it hard to determine where to put your time and efforts.  Obviously we have chosen the children who are a product of abuse or neglect.  It is not an easy road.  But someone has to do it.  Why not us?

Our teen who we are trying to adopt has been pressured by her biological mom to come and live with her.  The problem is this mom has failed to protect her daughter in the past.  Her daughter does not trust that she can rely on her mom.  It wasn't too long ago that we were rescuing the mom so how can she rely on her.  She knows that here she is safe and we will always support her.  She is learning how to be a part of a family here.  She has missed out on so many life skills and she has so many more to learn.  She has had so many firsts in our home.  She finally has someone who nags her about her homework and grades.  Someone who cares whether she is successful in life or not.  She hasn't had that but she has needed it.  But, in the end it will be her choice.  She is 16 years old and will soon be 17.  IF she becomes a member of our family it will be because it is what SHE wants.  We love her and want her to be our own but know the pull of the biological family.

This last Sunday Joselin joined us for church and lunch.  We have been talking a lot lately about things.  She told me that sometimes she wonders about "what if?"  I asked her what if what?  She said, "what if I had open to having a family".  Ah, she admitted that she never thought that she needed a family.  She already had one in Guatemala and didn't need another one.  She admits to rejecting us.  So, I asked her if she was willing to accept her family now.  She said she didn't know.  I told her that as long as we are still living then it isn't too late.

We went to church and lunch.  Sarah and I drove her back to Columbia.  On the way back she said yes to me.  I asked her what she meant by that.  She said that, yes, she does need a family.

Yes indeed, we all need a family.(and I think she is shrinking because Anthony hasn't grown that much!)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Our Craziness

     My husband has wanted a well for years.  I want a pool.  We can't afford a pool so we went for the well.  By time they finish we may find out we couldn't afford the well too!  They have been in my backyard for days making a huge mess.  So far the well is 220 feet deep.  It has been sitting at 220 feet now for 2 days.  Apparently they hit rock at 220 feet so they put down the casing yesterday.  This morning they realized it had cracked so they had to pull it all out again and redrill the well.  This picture is before the real mess happened.  Maybe I don't need a pool after all.  My son Jason recommended piping hot water into the mud pit and charging folks to come and get a mud bath.

     I am chicken.  I have not allowed the kids to go into the backyard.  Part of the reason is the mud pit but the other part is the equipment.  They leave their equipment in the yard every night and I can't begin to imagine how expensive it is.  I can, however, imagine the damage that my kids could do to the equipment.

     Hopefully tomorrow they can resume drilling.  I hope that they hit water soon, we are charged by the foot.  I told them that if they hit gold or oil I would be OK with that but they don't anticipate that being an issue.

     On the school front I have one last paper to write.  A 15 page paper that I can't seem to get motivated to write.  Right now I have 2 pages done....the title page and abstract.  I was going to work on it late tonight (I am a late worker, no kids) but I am going to make a Walmart run instead. 

     The last few days my mom has been acting way off.  Talking about getting up and going to do stuff and such.  Let me get this straight, my mom requires total care.  I change her Depends, get her dressed, bathe her, take care of all her laundry and personal needs, pick her up and put her in her wheelchair and then pick her up and put her back into bed, dispense all her meds, feed her - basically the only thing she does for herself is feed herself.  Tonight she took off her Depend and wet her bed.  Almost midnight and I just did a mom and bed change.  Now I need to go to Walmart because I thought that I had another bad of Depends and don't.  I am down to only 2 Depends in the house, that is not a good thing.

     Honestly, I think that I have reached the end of my caregiving endurance.  I just can't do it alone much longer.  I can't expect my husband or my kids to change my mom.  I worry about this summer when I have classes and the teens are at Bible camp, when Sarah is gone on her mission trip, when I am gone on my mission trip.  Heck, even without all that I am just plain tired of this level of caretaking.  There is a state program that can help and we are on the waiting list.....the wait is at least 6 months long.  I can't wait that long.  I am tired.

     Say a prayer for me as I look at options.  Wish me luck on my midnight Walmart run, I may need to get some chocolate while I am there.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


We have been through a lot of therapists in the last few years. Well, at least 10 of them.  Some were good and some not so good.  Of course our latest "not so good" was the girls therapist who said we should have them moved.  The therapist we found after that is pretty good.  I really like her.  Why?  Because she gets it.  She actually understands attachment issues and why my child has them.  I can talk to her about issues and she gets it.  She doesn't even talk much to my child, she has me do it through the Parent Child Interaction Therapy.  I am in the room with the child and she is helping to direct me through an ear piece.  My child is not able to lie to her.  She can't manipulate her.  The person who needs to interact with her is me.  The person who she needs to attach to is me.  The person who needs to know how to work with these issues on a daily basis is me.  The most this therapist interacts with my child is after our session and she only talks to her while I am in the room.

In researching attachment therapists I did read one site which stated that in attachment therapy the child shouldn't go off with the therapist with the parent being left out.  Why?  Well, the child probably lies and manipulates.  If they get away with it then how is that helping.  Thinking about my own experiences with therapists I think that to be successful the therapist needs to trust what the parent is telling them.  If that trust doesn't exist then how can the child be helped.  I think that was our problem with the first therapist.  She saw our child acting like an angel for 30 minutes and thought we were crazy.  In her mind it was obviously us who had the issue.  I was told that she had experience with attachment issues, I don't think so.

I am glad that we decided to seek out a different therapist.  I read all the time that people have problems with their therapists.  I really believe that if a therapist does not trust you as the parent then it might be time to seek out someone who does.  The hard part is actually finding someone who does know what they are dealing with.  It just so happens that my current therapist works with a lot of foster children.  She has seen a lot of attachment problems and has educated herself on the issues.  I wish that we had found someone like her when we were trying to find one for Joselin.  We were never able to find anyone to work with Joselin in any positive way.

Anyone out there have success with their therapist?  Anyone have a great attachment therapist? 

Monday, April 23, 2012


When you enter into the world of foster care and adoptions it seems as though people think it gives them an open door to find fault with everything you do.  When parenting children with neglect/abuse issues or even mental illness issues, your parenting style is rigid.  It has to be.  Sadly, if you are not consistent and firm the children will take advantage of it.  They will not see it as kindness, they will see it as a weakness.  They are actually scared of that weakness, how can you take care of them if you are weak? 

That is not to say that you don't show your children kindness, you do, you just keep the expectations and consequences.  They have to know what to expect. We love our children, we hold our children, we cuddle, we support.

When you also have a child with attachment issues then you have the extra challenge of having a child who transforms into a loving child to others.  They never see the tantrums and acting out, they don't realize that they are being manipulated.  Others see this lovely, sweet child who has strict, mean parents.

Lately my biggest problems have been at church. Actually, it has been one main person who has been around my children and now believes that she is an expert.  Sunday she undermined my authority and tried to make my "poor, pitiful" child happy.  My little Emma has taken to "being sad" when she goes to class.  Funny, she is perfectly happy before and after we take her there.  She has found that by acting sad she can get extra attention and treats.  Maybe that doesn't sound so bad, but it is manipulating, especially when she has been banned from treats for the day for behavior issues.  When she walks out of class with a grin because she "got away with something" then we have an issue.

The following is part of my facebook conversation (with last names removed) from Sunday.  I was frustrated and venting.  I don't always vent in facebook, but sometimes it is where I can get support.  The people who responded are for the most part adoptive or foster parents.

For the record, I am a terrible responder through email but do great on messaging!  (Theresa, I am still waiting for you to get connected on facebook.)

Why would I post this?  This issue is not limited to me.  If you are looking to foster, be aware that there are some people out there that assume that you are doing it for the money (hahahaha) or for some other motive.  There are some people that can't believe that you would do this for the child, that you could love a child who is "not your own".  Of course, they may just be the people who allow their kids to run wild in the restaurants.


 Guess what?! My child has been in 7 different homes in less then 3 years. She has an attachment disorder. I am going weekly to Parent Child Interaction Therapy and doing in home therapy daily. When I set rules and boundaries they need to be followed. My child is a great manipulator. She can lie as easily as talk. She is a pro at what she does. Heads up, she will be sitting with us at church from now on so that we can work on attachment.
Like · · 20 hours

Terry   That's so sad so many homes. Are you adopting her?
20 hours ago via Mobile · Like.

Linda  - Felicia in the long run all of this will be worth it , but right now you are probably wondering , will it ! It is so sad that these children have learned so many bad actions at such an early age and it`s so difficult for them to unlearn .I envy you for your patience and I praise you for the willingness to take on the task of helping the child instead of following the other foster parents actions and sending her on ! My thoughts and prayers go out for you and the rest of your family.
20 hours ago · Like · 1.

Felicia -  Yes, we are the second adoptive placement. The first one lasted 3 weeks.
20 hours ago · Like.

Felicia -  Linda, my biggest problem right now is others judging us because we are so strict. We are dealing with kids with ODD, anxiety disorders, bipolar, attachment disorders, epilepsy, ADHD, FAS....and those are the ones we know about. We have to be consistent. We have to be in charge. It is not abuse. It is a calling we have undertaken and those that do not deal with these issues every day have no clue. It is easy to judge....not so easy to offer help.
20 hours ago · Like · 4.

Linda -  I understand exactly where you are coming from !No it isn`t abuse ,its putting some consistency in these children's lives where there was none before . All of our children come to us with problems , some are just worse than others . Its really stressful helping them and it takes a toll on all of our family . Its easy to talk when you don`t know what you`re talking about. Yes , this is what we choose to do , but it sure would be nice to have a kind word or a helping hand instead of criticizing !
20 hours ago · Unlike · 2.

Kathy  -  I understand. I've been there!!!!! People saying we just didn't know how to parent, the child was so sweet for them, it must be us. They never know how badly the child was playing them.
19 hours ago · Unlike · 2.

Misty - I know exactly how you feel! I teach Sunday school in a small church...we have toddlers-through 5th grade (that's how small). My kids are 1/2 the class too. I have a RAD/ADHD/FASD/ODD/and 3 other dx's . She knows what buttons to push and it drives me insane. She is very manipulative and it actually looks "sweet". So I look like the over bearing, overly strict, meanest parent on earth type person. It doesn't help when she actually runs to another adult dodging me and says "awww, awww" when I'm next to her or reach for her to move her over. It drives me insane. We just had that this morning. I was ready to walk out and take her home.
17 hours ago · Unlike · 2.

Dianne -  I know the feeling. We are having a tough time with A. He's such a pretty face that no one sees that they aren't helping by the “he's so sweet with me thing”.
16 hours ago via Mobile · Unlike · 3.

Jenette  - AMEN to all of these comments!! I am stunned at how many heartless people are out there!! I have been getting the whole "Why" question about adopting our kids from one neighbor. Along with comments to the effect of I should send them back! And on the flipside, I have had several people think I am way too strict with my kids! So I know exactly what you're saying. The strict comments are usually from my family. But, I just keep thinking about the fact that us foster parents are TRAINED parents!! Not perfect parent, by any means, but we have been specially trained to deal with the type of problems our children have. If only ALL people were required to take parenting classes!! Maybe there wouldn't be so many unruly kids out there!!
12 hours ago · Like.

Linda -  You are so right Jenette , we have had and continue to have, training in how to better deal with our children . And no , it doesn`t make us perfect parents, but it does prepare us( somewhat ) for some of the problems we will be facing .I`ve been a foster parent for 14 years and I`m still learning how to deal with some of these children . As for sending our children back , that’s plain stupidity , would they send a biological child away ? I love my 2 adopted children as much as I love my 2 biological children and the other adoptive parents I know feel the same. When anyone starts bad mouthing foster and adoptive parents it really gets me all riled up !
12 hours ago · Like.

Jenette  - too!! I love my kids and couldn't imagine life without them!! They FEEL like they are a part of me. Since I don't have birth children, I don't know if it feels any different. But I can't imagine loving a child any more than I love the ones I have. My only regret is having to keep a shield up when you first get them until it is clear that they will be yours. I would love to be free to love a child the moment he/she is in your arms and know they are yours forever. But that was not God's plan. I had snide comments from a relative (well, my cousin's inlaws. not really my relative) because I corrected Nate for throwing a ball in the living room after I specifically told him NOT to TWICE!! It irritated me, but oh well, my kids are mostly pretty well behaved and that makes me proud! I don't care if people think I'm mean. They can ask my kids what they think of me. My kids LOVE me!! So I can't be too bad!! LOL
12 hours ago · Like · 1.

Felicia - I love facebook, I now know that I am not the only person out there dealing with the "mean parent" issue!
12 hours ago · Like · 2.

Jenette  - Nope!! All of the really good parents are viewed as the "mean parents". LOL!! I don't know some of your other friends, but I believe that you, me and Linda have very similar parenting styles!! But guess what! Our kids are all doing great in spite of their problems!! (or is it "despite"? well, you know what I mean!)
11 hours ago · Unlike · 2.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Bad Timing

Emma decided to have a tantrum tonight while I was out in the yard pulling weeds.  Very bad timing on her part.  She got to come and sit outside with me. 

Screaming that she wants a new home fell on my deaf ears.  A teen opened the door to complain that they could hear her in the back of the house.  I told her to go and ignore it, I have it.  Emma continued to scream and I continued to weed.

Then she was screaming about a spider, bugs and a mosquito.  I continued to ignore and weed.  Then she stopped. That actually got my attention because it had only been about 15 minutes.  I guess screaming outside isn't much fun. 

I had her follow me around and then she went inside with me.  Maybe we need to go outside and weed every time she starts to scream.

I am sure that my neighbors heard her.  Well, you know my motto - Stare if You Must.

The Heart of a Child

Lily, who really isn't named Lily and now wants to be called Michelle has a heart.

She has feelings.

She understands A LOT of what is going on.

She doesn't understand why.

Every time her sister screams she wants a new home, Michelle's heart drops.  Every other time her sister has done this it has worked for her, they were moved.  Dimples, who wants to be Emma, has always had the power to create a move.  Michelle has been voiceless against it.

The other day Michelle told me that she doesn't want to go back to her biological parents, she wants us to adopt her.  She wants to stay.  She desperately wants a family.

Emma has no attachment.  She has never had any attachment.  Six months is about as long as Emma can stand staying in one home.  Tantrums usually work, when they didn't then she tried harder.  It still didn't work.  Finally, I told Emma that Michelle wasn't going to move...period.  I asked their social worker to reinforce that when they had their visit this week.

When the social worker talked to them Michelle felt that she was about to be told that she was moving.  After all, that is how it has happened every other time.  She cried and told the SW that she didn't want to go.  She was told that she wasn't going to leave and finally she was told that her parents have not worked their plan and she would be adopted.  This is the first time that they have been truthful with Michelle. 

The truth....why is it denied to these girls.  They are not told why their mom doesn't visit.  They suspect and don't quite buy the car trouble story.  Would the truth hurt?  I told Michelle on the way home that their mom couldn't work her plan because she has some problems in her own life that are preventing her from being able to do what she needs to do.  Michelle feels that it is because her mom doesn't want her.  Wouldn't the truth be better then that.  Should I tell her that the "problem" is a drug addiction?  Maybe not now, but some day I think she deserves the truth.

I have heard the statement "in the best interest of the child".  I have yet to see that played out in the foster care system.  It is not about the best interest of the child, it is about parental rights.  It doesn't matter that they refuse to take drug tests, that they gets arrested on drug charges, that they don't do a single thing on their plan....they still have their rights and can visit their kids.  They can do the bare minimum (visiting) to keep their case going for years.  In the meantime there is the child with the broken heart.  The child with the confusion.  The child without permanence.  Without a family.

Every time I take pictures Michelle wants me to post her picture.  She wants to know when we will be able to adopt her.  She wants me to post her picture and declare that she is mine.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Social Security Office

Today we took a trip to our local social security office.  My mom is not too fond on trying to get in the car but I told her we had to go.  The last social security office I went to was in San Antonio.  It is a totally different experience going to a social security office in a small town.  There aren't rooms of waiting people ahead of you.  Our county security office is one room with two workers.  We had three customers ahead of us.....a busy day.  I even ran into some DSS workers and had a discussion about my struggles with fingerprinting for my mom (it is a very small town).

The workers were much nicer in person then all the ones I talked to on the phone.  I was shocked when I showed the worker what documentations I had and she took my moms Blue Cross/Blue Shield card.  All the card has on it is her name and ID number.  No birthdate, no social security number and no photo.  Interesting.  Since my mom had a payee before she has to have one now.  My mom agreed to have me as her payee, which is convenient since I buy her what she needs.  She even has a new social security card coming in the mail! 

Some day she will start receiving her social security.  Right now her account is frozen and only one past check has been returned.  Once it is unfrozen she will start getting her monthly checks and whenever the back checks come in she will receive that money as well.  Most importantly, they are going to send me a proof of income so I can apply for Medicaid for her.

To celebrate our successful trip to the social security office we went to San Jose for lunch. Sarah and Dimples came along for the ride.....actually Sarah came for the lunch.  We had a nice meal, my mom hadn't eaten out like that for quite a while.  Naturally when we got ready to leave it was pouring rain outside.  We were in Tasha's car (there is no way my mom could climb up into my Sequoia) and she was nice enough to leave a military rain poncho in the trunk.  I covered my mom in that and threw her into the car.  Well, not quite threw but to her it might have felt that way, I was soaking wet and I didn't have a poncho.

It seems like I didn't get much else done today. 

I did run to Lowe's to get a part for the dishwasher, tomorrow I will finish that installation.  I also did play therapy with the girls today and went to my last Wednesday night class.  Now I just need to finish my 15 page paper that I need to do for that class.  Well, actually I need to start it.  Procrastination is getting the best of me.  Tomorrow is my last Thursday class and I need to finish a Wiki in there and write a paper.  I have until the 29th to finish everything but I am trying to get motivated to finish early so I can have a longer break.

I am just so relieved that our visit to the social security office ended so well.  Now on to the next challenge.......

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Lunch Again

I am not sure if Joselin is shrinking or if Larissa is growing!

We are still on relationship building.  I was going to be in the area where Joselin is living today so I called to see if she wanted to do lunch.  She seemed very excited and accepted the offer.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Selective Mutism - The Good News

I fought the medication for a long time. All the research I did for selective mutism said that the best option was anxiety medication.  When you have a child already on meds you really don't like to add another one.  We put if off.  We tried positive behavior interventions, did a single case design study with very limited success (combined that with a school project).  We have had her to a play therapist (worthless) and started her early in school and speech. 

The early school with speech helped a little.  By the end of last year we were able to get her to the point where she may respond to a direct question.....if she has known you for about 8 months.  She still would not initiate conversation or even ask to go to the bathroom.

So, this past summer we took the big step and got Larissa medicated for anxiety.  Guess what?!  It worked.  If you were to meet Larissa today you may think that she was a little shy, depending on the circumstances maybe not!

Yesterday her speech teacher called me to remind me of her IEP meeting on Monday.  She seemed hesitant so I said what I thought she was planning on saying......I assume that we are going to be discontinuing services since she no longer needs speech.  She seemed relieved and said that she felt that speech services were no longer needed.  She also wanted to talk to me about Larissa's history.  I guess she was surprised at Larissa's ability to talk given her diagnosis.

I told her about the accidents last year because she couldn't ask to go to the bathroom.  How she couldn't initiate a conversation with an adult.  How as a baby she never waved to people, never tried to gain their attention in any way.  How we have had people ask if she had autism.  What all we tried to help her.  Then I told her the biggest change was after starting her on anxiety medication.

She told me that she had done research and found the same thing.  Asked how I got her diagnosed and medicated.  I gave her all my contacts.  There aren't many out there familiar with SM.  Then she told me that she has another student with SM and the description I gave her of  Larissa last year fit this child.  She couldn't tell me who the student was.  I told her that she could feel free to give them my information if they needed any type of information.  I do hope that they contact me.  A year ago I wouldn't have pushed medication.  However, after watching Larissa learn how to speak up for herself this year, I do suggest the use of anxiety medication.

So, do I say that she is now in selective mutism recovery?

I will be greatly pleased to go Monday and sign the papers taking Larissa out of speech.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Back to the Beginning

Well, we are back at the beginning.  Dimples has started her tantrums all over.  Yesterday she tantrumed over a time out and today over bedtime. Feels like we have gone back 6 months.

I know it is because of her attachment issues.  I know that she has moved to 7 different homes in the last 2 1/2 years.  I know that she feels that it is time for a move.  I know that she wants to make the decision about the move versus us. 

When she tantrums she repeats over and over that she wants to go to a new home.  A part of me says, so go.  The better part of me says no. 

I can't begin to tell you how hard it is to maintain your composure when a kid is screaming for hours over such minor things.....even when you know that in her mind it is something else. 

She screams and yells so hard and so long that she turns red all over.  Yesterday she finally tired herself out and fell asleep where she was sitting.......after 2 hours. 

She wasn't too pleased since I made her sit in the kitchen with me.  I cooked and she screamed a few feet away from me.  Screaming that she wanted to go, that she wanted a new home, that she wanted to get away from me, for no one to look at her......over and over.  Yes, it takes some patience.

My teens asked me tonight after another fine show of screaming if I was going to have her moved.  They are tired.  We are all tired.  I explained to them the concept of control.  She assumes that she will be moved and wants to control when it happens.  Still, knowing that doesn't help in the middle of a meltdown.

Dimples screaming that she wants a new home doesn't help her sister.  Her sister is well aware of why they have moved to so many different homes.  She has no interest in moving.  The anxiety that she feels when these meltdowns happen is obvious.  She has been lied to by so many adults so it really doesn't matter what we say, it is the staying firm and staying the course that mean the difference.

So, tomorrow Dimples will get to sit next to me at church.  I don't think that she needs to go to Sunday school class right now.  We have our 2 year old back.  I am hoping that this time around there will be a quicker improvement.

So please......Pray for us.  Pray for the girls.

Friday, April 13, 2012


To get a photo ID at the DMV here you need:
birth certificate
SS card
proof of residence
marriage license if your name is different then your name at birth

I don't have any of those but did order a birth certificate. 

To get the SS card:
Birth certificate
current US drivers license or
passport or
state issued ID card
if you can't get one of the above mentioned photo ID's then they will accept -
employee ID card
school ID card

To get fingerprinted she needs a SS card and birth certificate

Uh, yea.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Stress, Busy, Stress

Between being busy and stressed  I haven't had much time to do much of anything.  I am on my final slide for classes this semester and due t procrastination issues I have a lot to do in the next two weeks. 

Right now I am really struggling........

The social security lady had me in tears yesterday.  My mom is not receiving her social security.  It is still going to her old nursing home in TX.  We called social security when my mom got here and the person who helped us on the phone said that the address change and everything would be taken care of. 

Six weeks later I realized that I needed a letter from them stating how much she makes so I called.  The very rude lady wouldn't talk to either of us because she said we weren't the payee.  She said that the payee would have to send in a form.  So I call the nursing home.....for days trying to reach the financial lady.  Finally I get in touch with someone in administration and they say that there is no form for them to send in, that the person from social security is wrong. 

So I call social security back and they ask my mom a lot of questions to identify herself.  She was able to give them her SSN, mothers maiden name, birthdate and such.  However, when they asked for the address of the nursing home my mom had no idea so they refused to help us in any way. 

Why don't we just go in?  My mom has no photo ID, no social security card and no birth certificate.  I ordered her a new birth certificate but you need a photo ID to get a social security card.  With no photo ID do you think they will talk with us?  If I can't get her on Medicaid soon I will burn out.  I am the only one who changes Depends in the house so my time away from home is very restricted. 

She is not receiving any money so we are paying for all her medications, Depends, clothing and other hygiene items.  Affording someone to come in and watch her for $10 and up/hour is not in the budget.  John is in training which means he is making about a fourth of what he was making at his last job.  It is not worth it for me to get a job, the cost would be way too high. 

So, no money, no Medicaid either.  Then another concern is our foster care license.  My mom needs fingerprinting....and they require a photo ID.  If we don't get her fingerprinted by June they will revoke our license which means they will remove the 3 foster kids.  So, how do you get a photo ID with only a birth certificate?  I know that South Carolina won't issue her a state card without one.  OK, can you feel the stress....and frustration.  At finals time.  Are you totally confused yet?!

Say a caregivers prayer for me, I am burning out and fading fast.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter

Happy Easter from our family to yours....

(Shared a family picture for Easter.  Pray that sometime soon I can post it permanently)

Our church had breakfast this was a bring your own chair event.

Kids at the feeding trough.

One of my blessing........

Friday, April 6, 2012

Falling Apart

It seems like our house continues to fall apart.  I am not sure what it is. 

Our KitchenAid dishwasher is about to go to the dump.  In February it had it's first birthday so KitchenAid will no longer service it.  It has had the top rack replaced twice, the control panel, water pump and door latch were also replaced.  The top rack is in pieces again and KitchenAid says "sorry about your loss".  So tonight we went out and bought a new dishwasher and bought a 5 year service plan through Lowe's .  We don't normally buy service plans because it should last 5 years, obviously that is no longer true.  We didn't buy a KitchenAid or a Whirlpool because they both have the same rack system that kept breaking on us.  We got a Samsung where you can easily take off the top rack.  It will make it easier to replace those cheap plastic wheels in the future.

Oh, and our downstairs A/C unit stopped cooling Tuesday.  We can't get anyone to come out until next Monday.  This unit is only 3 years old and this is the second time it had stopped cooling.  At least the weather turned cool for us so we aren't sweating.  But, geez, what has happened to the quality of the products we buy?

My brain is also falling apart.  I remembered that I had a therapist appointment today...this morning.  At least we made it on time.  Parent-Child Interaction Therapy is interesting.  Right now the kids are in control of playing while I build them up through positive reinforcement.  Later I take the control and see how they react.  It shall be interesting and I have homework.  I am supposed to do this play therapy with all kids ages 8 and under in my house daily.  Hmmmm....when to fit that in!

Our home got really interesting tonight when our teens mom contacted her wanting to be picked up.  She had nowhere to go and no way to get there.  We ended up picking her up and putting her in a hotel for the night.  Yes, our life is interesting.

Because of the unexpected drama and the forgotten appointment I didn't get to do my planned activity.....getting Easter candy.  I am so totally unprepared.  I did have a stash of bracelets that I was going to put in the girls baskets but Larissa found them so I told her that no one would get them in their baskets.  (If she finds hidden stuff she doesn't get it, she is always on the prowl for stuff, ugh)  Of course the kids were in shock and asked about the Easter Bunny.  I am not a huge fan of he Easter Bunny.  I mean really, a huge bunny running around with Easter Eggs?!  So, I told them the truth....there really isn't a huge Bunny running around with candy and such.  I told them that the basket of gifts was a way of reminding everyone of what a great gift Jesus gave to us.  They seemed happy with that.  So, no Easter Bunny in our house!  Now for the tooth fairy....because she is getting senile and forgets half the time.

How is your house holding up?  Hopefully better then ours!

Thursday, April 5, 2012


Guess who called me yesterday and wanted to have lunch today.....

We actually had a very nice lunch.  She looked very good and has a job.  She is living with a friend and is sharing the bills. 

She wanted to reconnect.

I had been following her through various facebook accounts and would send her a message about once a month telling her that I was here and open to a relationship.

Say a prayer for us!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Big Random Post

I shop online for obvious reasons......

I purchased these salt and pepper grinders. John likes to do the sea salt that needs grinding so I got a set of grinders. I knew that one was bigger then the other. They are unique and I like them.

Our kitchen table was recently refinished....but already it is not big enough.  I am not sure what to do about that problem.  What if we decided to add another kid?  Where would we put him?

I am still working on the kitchen....very slowly.  Yea, it is a mess.

And working on the door that was blocked in.

Sometimes I just sit and enjoy the view out my window.........while trying to ignore the fact that I have a lot of school work that needs to be done in the next 3 weeks.  I don't seem to have much motivation in that area and am really struggling to finish some big projects.  Heck, I haven't even started some of them.  But, isn't the view great?

Here is my new gas stove top.  I look forward to getting it put in....some day.

If you come to my house you should have no problem finding the salt and pepper grinders.  Yea, I didn't realize that they were that tall.  Obviously I didn't read the description too well.  That is fine with me, no one should complain about not finding them.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


Yesterday I went shopping with 6 kids.  Yea, I was feeling a little brave and set up babysitting for my mom.  Our mission was dresses for the teens and dress shoes for the 4 younger kids.

JCPenney's was an adventure.  Sarah says there was an older couple that seemed to be stalking us and smiled every time they looked at us.  Yea, I am sure we were entertaining.  Like when Anthony yelled to me, mom Larissa is doing inappropriate things with the mannequin!  She determined that although the mannequins assets looked real, they were in fact not.

The poor lady at the shoe department must have thought that my kids had never gotten new shoes before.  The excitement and choices.......combined with my choice of not medicating my ADHD kids when they don't have school. They were like kids in a candy store. 

Sarah, Anthony, Lily and Dimples all picked out appropriate Easter Sunday shoes.  Larissa wasn't interested.  She found the Sketchers Ballerina shoes.  She has been wanting these for a while now and has been pestering me about them.  So she didn't get dress shoes which is fine because the girl has plenty of shoes.  She says that she likes NEW shoes, lots of new shoes.  Have I mentioned that she is spoiled? 

After driving the lady crazy in the shoe department I see why I either order shoes online or get them at Walmart.  On a good note when I told the lady what size shoes I needed she seemed skeptical of my abilities and checked all the kid sizes.......ha, I was right every time.  Yea, that is because I order shoes online or pick them up on my late night Walmart trips.......alone, with no kids.

After Penney's we headed to Moe's because we had worked up quite an appetite. Also, I figured that if I could get them all sitting down and eating then I could save my sanity.  We do enjoy Moe's but have the typical large family issues....seating.  Once we got past the 2.5 children mark we found that restaurants are not made to accomodate us.  Moe's was crowded and we needed two tables.  I sent out the teens to scrounge up tables while I ordered the food.  The sanity break was just long enough to give me courage to head to the next destination....the pet store.

Yep, I took all the kids into the pet store and came out with none (uh, pets not kids).  I believe that the guinea pigs may be a little traumatized by our visit but everyone survived.  I stood strong and said no to the cute little chinchilla that Sarah wanted and the crabs. 

After the pet store we went to Old Navy where I finally found a bench seat for the kids to sit on.  The bench seat was a sanity saver.  I was also able to sneak a few Easter items.  By time we finished Old Navy we were broke and exhausted so we headed home.  We did meet our objectives of dresses for the teens and shoes for the little ones so the shopping trip was a success.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Fountain: Take 2

The top part of my fountain sealed but the bottom didn't.  Also, the water wasn't being pumped correctly for some reason.

So after church today I took it apart.  There was a crimped hose which was causing the pumping problem.  I used a different sealer.  It looks good tonight.  Hopefully tomorrow it will still be full of water.  If so then it will be one successful project done.

It is spring break for my kids....not for me!  I have several large projects due this week so we will see how well that goes.  Tonight I will be finishing our taxes, I almost forgot about them.

Have a great evening.