Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Where has the time gone?

I seem to be losing track of time.  I try to keep up my posts and then life gets in the way and flies past.

We have been staying busy.  We took 6 kids to Lowe's to do the free activity.  The new ones loved it.  The youngest is under age for the activity but Sarah partnered up with her.

Anthony and Larissa found this puzzle and did it together.  They got along just long enough to finish the project.

I decided that it was time to do something with my garage.  This garage is attached to the house and I would like to make it into a play space for the kids.  This might just take a little while....

Same garage, different angle.

The other garage that is not attached to the house.  I am going to make it into my wood working shop.  Yes, we have enough garage space to park 4 cars and don't park a single vehicle in there.

Free couch.....going into the kids area.

One day of progress.  The big items were easy, all the small tools and such will take time.  I hear that some people enjoy organizing, I obviously am not one of them.  As long as the hoarders show doesn't show up at my front door I am ok.

I don't know why I started this new project.  My entire house needs decluttering.  I get frustrated in the house, as soon as I feel like I am getting somewhere a horde of strange kids comes running through and destroys the house.  Perhaps I know all those kids.  I know that 4 of them are off of their ADHD meds for the summer.  As a matter of fact they have doctor appointments next week to get their height and weight checked for new ADHD meds before school starts.
Tomorrow is school registration.  I have been filing out forms and getting documents around.  I still don't have Emma's birth certificate.  I have Michelle's but an error was made on Emma's.  I also don't have their adoption decree yet.  Therefore, the girls aren't on Tricare yet and their Medicaid is probably cut off too.  I need to apply for Medicaid even without the adoption decree.
Tomorrow Larissa goes to the dentist and then we will head to school for registration.  However, in the morning I will be waiting on the A/C repairman.  The upstairs A/C unit is not working.  I am glad that the master bedroom is downstairs.  We have kids downstairs and in the FROG where there is an A/C unit.  There always seems to be something breaking down in the house.  Nothing seems to last very long anymore.  We also have a leak in the roof and the roof is only 2 years old.  Something else to deal with.
Is it getting late here and I must get off to bed.  I hope that everyone is doing well and enjoying their summer.  Leave a comment if you are still out there reading about our crazy lives!
Next post....Emma.  I found one of her baby pictures too.  Breaks my heart.

Friday, July 26, 2013


Mom!  Emma comes running.  "Larissa lost my earring!"

Larissa running fast behind her, "Emma it's in your ear!"

How is your day going?

Go to Lowe's This Weekend

We are heading to Lowe's this weekend to make this car......

I love a free activity.  The last activity we made Monster boxes.  They were really cool.

So who else has made it to Lowe's to make a free project?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Michelle is 8

Michelle's choice for her birthday meal was Moe's. Sarah and I took the 6 littles to Moe's for lunch. It was kids eat free with the purchase of an adult meal so we did get two free kids meals.

After dinner we did cake and presents.  Michelle wanted a red velvet cake.

Michelle was excited to open presents.

There is not much cake left!

The girls enjoyed getting glitter all over the place.

It is hard to believe that she is already turning 8.  Like Sarah said, in 10 years she will be 18, ack.  The years just seem to fly by.
Michelle was happy with her birthday celebration with family and she enjoyed doing the body glitter with her sisters.  Until August 11th, the little's are 6,7,8 and 9.

Monday, July 22, 2013

The Long Road

Funny what you can find when you scour the internet.  I was able to find one picture of Michelle before she came into care. It is the youngest picture I have of her. 

I look at that picture and I wonder what was going on in her life at that time. 
What would you guess her age to be? 
I do know that shortly after turning 4 she ran away from home with her then 3 year old sister.  They were found walking along the highway.  Michelle remembers running away. She blames herself for coming into care.
The road from the girls first foster home to our home was long;  three foster homes, 2 children homes, and one adoptive placement before coming to our home.  All those homes and all that rejection, Michelle remembers every one. 
Many of the moves were actually because of her sisters behaviors.  Michelle was very good at flying under the radar.  While her sisters behavior was very loud and in your face, Michelle was quietly dealing with her pain.
I knew that she had some attachment issues.  However, I didn't realize how bad it was until she went to the church camp.  When she returned from camp I realized that I had made a mistake in sending her.  She wasn't ready.  She may not be ready for a long time.  The road to attachment is a long road.  It takes years.  I think that in her case her ability to deceive others makes it all the harder.
Watching her attempts to form attachments with anyone older is worrisome.  As is watching her struggle to connect with her siblings.
So we are going in to attachment mode.  Our 12 year old foster child went to her fathers today.  The two little foster kids are still here but little ones don't seem to be a problem.  We will have to say no to any foster children over the age of 6.  This also means that if we do another adoption the children need to be younger as well.  Another adoption may not happen, everyone wants younger children.
We are also going to limit her interactions with other adults. She needs to form her attachments with her family.  We are going to have to have more purposeful interactions and help her to learn to interact with her peers.
We have a long road ahead of us but one worth travelling. 
She is worth it.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Seeking Help

Michelle went to camp with our church.  It was only for a few nights and she was so excited about it.  However, we have been concerned about her since she returned.  I understand that camp with your church should be a very nurturing environment.  I expected the adults to be loving and encouraging.  I also thought that it would be a great time for Michelle to develop some relationships with her peers at church.

Unfortunately that didn't happen.  Michelle came home from church crying, crying for the adults.  A majority of the pictures I have seen from camp are of Michelle with either adults or teens.  I believe I saw one picture of her with her peers.

Michelle's birthday is next week and she wants to have a party.  I have decided that we will not.  She will get dinner, cake and presents on her birthday and then a some point between hers and Anthony's birthday we are going to the water park.  The reason....she only has adults on her invitation list.  When pressed she can come up with names of kids but these aren't real friends.  Anthony doesn't have many friends either.

We now have 12 year old C in the house.  Michelle is by her side constantly.  When C is in the shower Michelle sits and waits for her.  I had to stop Michelle from sitting across from C because Michelle was copying all her eating mannerisms. Michelle has changed all her likes and dislikes to whatever C likes or dislikes.  Even my husband has noticed this and says it looks so unnatural.  Michelle rarely plays with her siblings now.

I can't say that camp caused this issue.  I can only state that this issue has really gotten worse since she went away.  I am struggling with what to do.  I know that Kassi leaving had an impact as well.  I was concerned with that relationship because Kassi had Michelle keep secrets for her.  It was unhealthy.  C should be leaving on Monday so that obsession will be gone but I believe that it will not be the end of the problem.

Michelle used to play with her siblings.  There were typically some issues because Michelle is very controlling.  She can be a bully and tell lies to get others in trouble.  It has been suggested that she doesn't know how to interact with her peers.  Perhaps that is true.

Anyone else have this type of issue?  Any suggestions?  I am seeking help because I see that this problem is affecting Michelle's overall well being. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Mom to Many

Some days I feel that I have just a few kids and other days I feel as though I have a dozen.  This last week I have felt like a mom to many.  Lots of things going on with kids.  See if you can keep up....

I believe it started with the letter in the mail telling me that our car insurance would not be renewed because of some tickets that Jason got over a year ago.  He has not had any claims/accidents in 9 years but because of some tickets 1-3 years ago they have now decided to cancel.  Yuck.  I did some research and decided that at this time I would just get him a separate policy.  He is unemployed right now after getting laid off right before our Disney trip.  Not having insurance is not an option.  Still, I was not happy with our insurance company since we have been with them for so long.  I guess I could understand it if Jason had accidents.  Jason had a job interview last week so I hope that he is gainfully employed soon!  He is also looking at going back to school for welding because he is tired of not having a good skill for employment.

Tasha is now working two jobs in Charleston.  She is working at a chicken joint and a place called Bubba Gump Shrimp.  She is dealing with her college application and residency issues.  Deploying with a North Carolina National Guard unit is complicating things for her.  Naturally paperwork is at our house so scanning and emailing is happening. Hopefully she can get everything straightened out and get into class this fall.

Sarah is enrolled in her college, has housing selected and I have gotten all the financial aid done.  I ended up doing a Parent Plus loan this year since I had such short notice.  Next year I will be better prepared and find more options for paying for school.  I am surprised that they are willing to do the loan when I put unemployed on the application.  Any suggestions for finding funding for next year would be appreciated. 

Thursday John and Sarah are heading off to her college to attend orientation.  They will be back on Friday so I will have a short stint as a single parent.  I was going to go with Sarah but couldn't get someone to take care of my mom.  John does not change my mom.

Kassi stopped by to get her stuff.  She is living with a friend and I guess they are looking to get an apartment together.  Neither girl has a job so that should be interesting.  I hope that things go well for them.

Thursday Joselin is moving back home.  Yes, that is right, she is coming home to work on her GED.  She has decided that she needs more of an education.  She would like to get into a community college.

It has been decided that the respite care kids will stay here.  They have court on Monday and from what I understand it is very possible that the 12 year old will go with family.  We really won't know until Monday because you just never know what the judge will do.

Yesterday I was asked to do respite in August and then received a call for placement of a 2 year old boy.  I had to say no to the placement and I don't know to the respite because who knows what will be going on in a month.

In a bit of good news, the family room still looks pretty good, my mom is getting an extra 5 hours a week of personal care and John went on a job interview last week.

Well, other than that, like is pretty boring around here.  Were you able to keep up with my life these days?

How is your summer coming along?  Have a great evening.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

After a Day of Organization

After much organizing and throwing away of "stuff" I am finished for the day.  Sarah says it will be right back to clutter tomorrow.  My 4 with ADHD can do quite a bit of damage by themselves, they don't need any foster kids to help.  (During the summer I try not to medicate.  Anthony and Larissa especially are very thin and I would love for them to gain some weight.)


A lot of the work was finished after the kids went to bed.  It is impossible to throw anything away when they are on watch.

A lot of time was spent on the books.  I could use a little more shelving or less books.  John thinks we should go for less books but I have a hard time doing that.

The only area that needs more work is my desk area.  Sorry no pictures!  Then I get to move onto another area of the house while the kids work at destroying this area. 

As for why the kids don't pick up, we try.  You try getting 4 ADHD kids to stay on task during pick up time.  The distractions are numerous and compounded by the number of children in the room.  Actually, it doesn't normally look as bad at the pictures show.  Taking apart the ramp and adding some smaller child toys added a lot to the was bad though.

Trying to Motivate Myself

This is my family room today. last night I decided to take down the ramp and go through some piles. It is amazing how much stuff was stashed under the ramp!

I am posting pictures because I need to motivate myself to finish today.  With little ones this chaos is not safe.....although it doesn't seem to bother them in the least!

I will be back tonight to post some after pictures.  Hopefully they don't look the same.....or worse.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Keeping Afloat Here

Imagine adding three kids to your house in one day.  Kids ages 3,4 and 12.  Imagine that they are not used to your schedules for anything, habits or house rules.  Imagine adding them to your already full household.  Imagine the laundry!  The food! The chaos!

We are keeping afloat.  They have been in care less than a month and this is their third move.  This has had an effect on the littlest one.  Every time her sister moves the little one starts to cry.  She is terrified of losing her sister.  This is supposed to be respite care so in 10 days they are supposed to move back to their previous foster home.  Not sure if that will happen since the 12 year old is telling everyone she wants to stay here.  She does not want to go back to their previous foster home.  I typically do not try to take foster kids that come into respite care in my home.  I wouldn't appreciate it if I went on vacation and didn't get my foster kids back when I got home.  We also have only one opening so I don't know that the state would be willing to go 2 over our limit.  Typically we got over by only one.  So, I make no promises and will let DSS decide what they will do in this case.

In the meantime we are adjusting.  I am definitely buying more groceries.  Doing more laundry.  Picking up more toys.  Making a lot of adjustments.  About the time we get adjusted the kids will be leaving.  Actually, that is why we really are looking to do one last adoption and then get out of foster care.  All the adjustments that the kids have to make for unknown periods of time really can get difficult for kids who are still healing.

Sometimes I wonder if we should even be doing foster care at this time.  It is hard on the family but they keep calling.  Our county is really hurting for foster homes.  We were receiving calls and kids even when we didn't have an opening.  I really need to learn how to say no.  When they called us to do this respite I said that I would get back to them.  I knew that 3 kids for two weeks would not be easy.  About the time they finally settled in it would be time for them to go.  I talked to John about it and we decided to say no.  Then I looked at our extra beds and even our extra car space.  I am not working.  We could do it.  So, I called John and told him that I had changed my mind and wanted to do respite.  I know that there is not another home in our county that can take 3 kids.

Having said all that.......we are enjoying the children.  The 3 year old has that little southern, 3 year old accent.  I love listening to her talk.  I love watching all the kids play and the noise level in the house has gone way up.  Apparently it has gotten too high for one of our cats who disappears until after the little ones are in bed.

On another note....not a single word from Kassi.  Sigh.........

Have a great weekend!

Monday, July 8, 2013


Today we received three foster kids for respite care.  Their foster family had a vacation planned before the kids came into care a few weeks ago and adding three kids was out of the question.  They are 3, 4 and 12 years old.  So far all is well.  I almost left one at home when I decided that Chick FilA with their enclosed play place would be a great place to have dinner.  Luckily I decided to do a head count before leaving!  Going from 4 littles to 6 littles is going to take some getting used to but it will be only for 2 weeks.  Anyone can survive two weeks....right?!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

A Spot of Sun

How is the weather where you are? Here it is rain, rain and more rain. I think it has been raining for a month or so now. I bought the kids this water toy a while back and haven't had an opportunity to break it out....

Today we had a moment of sun so we put it up.  It only took two different compressors, one hand pump and some of my hot air to get it inflated.

I have to say that going on the stomach using the little raft they provided worked best.

They did try different options.

Backwards didn't work too well.

Neither did sitting on their knees.


Twirling was definitely out!

And then the rain came in.  I headed inside and they played for a while longer.  Not sure if they found any other successful sliding positions.

For dinner Sarah cooked a new chicken recipe which the kids loved and ate it all so no left overs.  Afterwards we headed to our local movie theater to watch Despicable Me 2. John said that he came along to keep me company and ended up really enjoying it.  It is a funny movie. 

The movie theater was packed so we sat behind the kids.  They sat and ate their kid packs the entire movie and had no behavior problems.  It is nice to be able to take the kids to these types of activities and just have a good time. 

We had a great was yours?

Friday, July 5, 2013

4th of July/Drama

We had a nice 4th of July. We went to a friends house where we ate lots of food and played with fire.  We got rained on a couple of times but we had some clear times.  I will let the pictures tell the story....

In true form, we did have some drama at our house as well.  You will notice that Kassi did not join us.  She decided that she was 18 and could do whatever she wanted.  We haven't seen or heard from her since she walked out the front door yesterday.  I am pretty sure that I know where she is but she is 18 so I am giving her space.  Really, not much else I can do.   Is she ready?  No.  I guess she needs to learn that more than I do at this time. 

All of this had really saddened me.  I had prayed that she would make better choices for herself.  At this point all we can do is wait and allow her to make her mistakes.  Some days it is really hard to be a parent!