Tuesday, June 30, 2015

She's Driving

A while back we told Kassi that once she got her driver's license we would get her a car. We hoped to motivate her to greater independence (and reliability to get to her job). She moved to a new apartment and lost a job because of transportation but still didn't get her license.  I started looking for a car anyways and found her something.

Ha, but she couldn't drive it.  I guess that finally gave her the motivation because she went out and got her license.  She also started a new job.

She is a little lead footed so watch out for that car if you are driving through South Carolina!

Friday, June 26, 2015


For those who have adopted, have your kids changed their names?

All of our kids have, some very minor and some totally different.  All of them except for Larissa and hopefully Little Man had an input into their name.

Yoselin Karina became Joselin Karina

Lewis Carlos became Anthony Lewis, do not call him Tony because he won't answer.

Lewisa Carlosa became Larissa Ann (my middle name) Sometimes she is called Weesie, a name we called her from the beginning.

Cheyanne Faith became Michelle Alise (Michelle is Sarah's middle name)  I liked Faith but Michelle didn't want to keep it

April Sharon became Emma Rose (Rose is Tasha's middle name, and my grandmothers)

Kassi had two middle names, she removed one and put in Ann (sharing with Larissa and myself).

The name we have chosen for Little Man is Benjamin Ross.  Benjamin comes from my husbands family.

We put a lot of thought into new names. The kids also think about it for a long time. We offer suggestions and do veto some names.  Emma's name of choice would have been Bambi Sparkles. Michelle was talking the other day about how much she likes her new name and is glad she could change.

Some people have a problem with changing names, they feel that you are taking away a part of the child.  I don't feel that way. I think a little differently. Instead of looking back, I think that you are offering them a new beginning and an opportunity for a great future in their new family.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Don't Call me the Real Mom

The other day I had an adoptive parent reach out to me in pain.  Her daughter told her that she wanted to see her "real mom".  This hurt my friend.  She has had this child from birth and doesn't understand why her daughter calls her other mom the real mom.

What is a real mom?  To my adopted kids that is typically a term that they use for their biological mom.  I don't correct them, I allow that term.  It is synonymous to biomom, biological mom and such and so much easier for the kids to say and understand.  I understand what they are saying and am not hurt by that term. When others ask about my kids "real mom" I am also not offended.  I know what they mean.

The other day I received a text from Kassi.  In short she wrote, "Mom, my real mom hurt me again.  I don't know why I try".  I had been expecting this.  I worried from the moment that her "real mom" came back into town.  Not because her relationship with her real mom would take away from my relationship with her, but because I knew that her real mom would hurt her.  Her real mom has not been in her life in any real way for a long time.  Yet, she is her real mom.  Kassi wants for her to do what real moms do.  Unfortunately, her real mom can't do that. Kassi is an adult, it is her relationship and her choice on how she proceeds with it.  I wish that her real mom could be a mom, having more than one mom isn't a bad thing.  The more people you have who love and support you the better.

I do not claim the title of real mom, or adoptive mom, or any other type of mom with something before it.  I simply am mom, sometimes mama.  I only want to be mom.  The only time I put a title in front of it is when I put one of my kids names there.  I am Jason's mom, Tasha's mom, Joselin's mom, Sarah's mom, Kassi's mom, Anthony's mom, Michelle's mom, Larissa's mom, Emma's mom and in my heart Benjamin's mom.

Don't ever call me the real mom, I am mom and I don't need any real in front of it to know who I am to my children.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Diva Syndrome

I am not sure why it happens during the summer, but my Diva in Training comes down with full blown Diva Syndrome. We always struggle with her sense of entitlement but in the summer it gets worse.

For me it is very frustrating because I enjoy giving to my kids.  Giving of opportunities to see new things, experience new things, fun things, giving of myself and even giving of things.  However, I have to always look at the cost of that giving.  There always seems to be a cost.  The biggest one is entitlement.

We were making plans for our trip and determining where everyone would sit.  We planned on getting some DVD players that would be shared between two kids.  Emma says she is not going to sit next to Michelle and is NOT going to share a DVD player. After a huge argument we changed the seating. She is not going to be sitting next to Michelle and she will not be sharing a DVD player. Instead she is going to sit directly behind me with no DVD player at all. The spot directly behind me is next to the baby car seat.  I hope Little Man doesn't constantly hit her with his cup or shoes or anything else he chooses to throw because this is his new thing.

Later we were discussing dance.  Two years ago we had put her in two dance classes and she quit saying it was too much.  She says she wants to do dance next year.  My husband and I discussed it and decided that we would let her take one dance class.  The dance class of her choice.  I talked to her about it.  She said no she wanted to take three. I said one, she said two.  I said one and she complained that one class is for babies.  Emma will not be taking dance next year.

On and on it goes.  She needs to be the first at everything, the center, the winner, the taker.  Our current biggest challenge is her behavior towards me.  When talking to her or correcting her she will literally walk away from me.  That does not work for me.

This has been a long battle. Too many people tell her that she is cute.  She has told the therapist at school that she is pretty and expects to be treated differently because of it.  I tell her that what is inside her heart is more important than what is on the outside.  She doesn't believe that. Even my husband has complained this summer about her sense of self entitlement and diva attitude.

We have already had some leadership in bullying (against her own sister at school) and I see the potential for more bullying in the future. It is a behavior that I really don't like.

Anyone have a diva child?  A child with a huge sense of self entitlement?  How do you deal with it?

Monday, June 22, 2015

Life as Usual

As usual, we have been crazy busy around here.   Little Man got a virus from somewhere and has shared it with everyone in the house.  Today I am not sure if he still had the effects of it or if he turned two early. Serious tantrumming! I have never had a child who could throw a tantrum like he can.  No is a very bad word, even if you try to disguise it in other words.  He really could use a helmet.  When he tantrums he bangs his head.  Today one of his tantrums occurred on the brick steps, he banged up his forehead before I could get to him and move him.  I sure hope that his escalation of tantrums is an after effect of the virus and not the beginning of something fierce!

We still have our Munchkin.  After the fourth rejection adoptions has decided to get an update and new picture.  They are coming out to the house on Thursday when Little Man's adoption worker is coming.  They are coming on Thursday so on Wednesday we will be shoving all our clutter into closets. No wonder I can't ever find anything!

All has been quiet with bios.  Our biggest excitement was this morning when the kids came to tell me that there was a car parked in front of our house.  Unless we are having all the kids over there are never cars parked in front of our house.  Crisis was diverted when I investigated and found out that it was one of the neighbors grandkids.  Funny how even the kids recognize that a car didn't belong there. I hope that things stay quiet in that area.

Slowly I am preparing for our trip.  I have a lot of laundry to do before I get into the packing. I am not sure how much clothing I want to pack.  I imagine that we will do laundry somewhere along the way.  Packing for all the kids for two weeks is just too much.  Of course, the laundry pile will be huge when we return!

I decided that it was time to buy myself some new shorts/capris.  I rarely buy clothing for myself.  I don't like to spend money on myself especially since one day I will decide to lose some weight and none of it will fit.  I had a few minutes so I ran into the store and picked up some shorts and a few shirts in all my regular sizes.  I didn't bother to try anything on.  Next week I get to go and exchange some shorts, I forgot that I had lost about 10 pounds.  Funny what a difference that makes in the waist.  No need to return the button down shirts, the gaping button problem still exists.

We also had the opportunity to babysit Vaida.  She is growing so fast and is such a sweetie.

She tries to keep up with Little Man and finally made it up the stairs. I think that he told her that all the fun toys were upstairs.

And of course as the temperatures here have gotten above the 100 mark we have been enjoying the pool.

Anyone having an exciting summer so far?  Ours if flying by.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Crazy Days

Seems like crazy days around here.

I got a text from a family member of Little Man telling us to not take any chances because when biomom "flips a script she is dangerous" and apparently she is very angry right now.  I got a call from his social worker today.  She told me that she isn't allowed to walk out of the building without an escort.  This mom, she is dangerous.  Public record, she set her moms house on fire trying to kill her mom years ago. She spent time in jail for it.  So she is capable of violence.  We are aware and have safety protocols in effect.

Actually it can make you somewhat paranoid.  I think that our van is rather recognizable in our community.  I am aware of that and watch for anyone following me.  Today I took Little Man to the doctors since he spent the whole morning on my lap with a fever either sleeping or whining.  This is highly unusual for him. He has a virus which I suspected but wanted to rule out any ear issues before the weekend.

When I came out I noticed that there was a van parked close to me with someone sitting in the back with the back door opened.  I didn't like that so I didn't put Little Man in his car seat and then walk around to the driver door.  Instead I got in the van and locked it behind me then buckled him in and went to the drivers seat from inside.  Yes, maybe a little overcautious but better safe than sorry.

Then I get home and receive a phone call from adoptions asking me if we could take an 18 month old today, now.  I tell them no because I still have this 7 month old baby who is free for adoptions and no one is stepping up for her.  This week the fourth family said no.  Crazy.  I have never received a call like that from adoptions.

I think that the horrible event in Charleston has me feeling upset and then add all the other things going on and I am on edge.  This world is just going crazy.  I don't feel that all my kids are safe and I can't do anything about it.

Tasha lives in an area that is very unsafe.  When she leaves my house at dark I really worry about her going into her house.  She has had people from the neighborhood come to her door for money. Hopefully they will be moving this summer when their lease is up.  They tried to get out of the lease when it became so apparent that they weren't safe but they couldn't.  The landlord did speak to the police and they did notice that they patrolled the area more.

Where Kassi was living it wasn't safe either.  Two men were killed just a few blocks from her house. She said that it wasn't safe to go out walking. Thankfully where she has moved to it is safer.

Than I have Jason.  Not long ago he was getting off of work and was approached by two men, one was about to pull out a gun when Jason roared off in his car.  The bank next door had a video tape of the incident and based on that two men were charged with attempted kidnapping and robbery.

Three kids living in three different towns, all of them with safety concerns. Sad thing is, I don't see things getting any better anytime soon.  If anything they appear to be getting worse.


Many times I am asked why we have adopted. Sometimes it is hard to explain the desire to add to your family through adoption.  I love being a mom.  I love that I have the opportunity to be a stay at home mom.  I feel that there is such a need.

Recently I talked with a social worker about the future of our licensing.  I told her that hopefully this adoption will go through and then we will no longer be licensed.  She said that we would be back in 6 years, Anthony will be 18 then.   First I had to get over the shock that Anthony will be 18 in 6 years and then I said that we would be too old.  She said that they needed families like ours and we won't be too old.  You see, there is a need.  There is a need for families who are not looking to get something out of fostering.  Families who are willing to give to a child.

But, there is more.  There is something that has driven me. This last Sunday at church I sat there and realized why I work so hard to not reject my kids.  Even when my kids have been the most challenging, I tell them I am their mom, I refuse to reject them.

This is my facebook post that explains my feelings on Monday....

Genesis 50:20 on my mind today.
It is about this time of year that I think about my father. It is also the time of year when 22 years ago I tried to commit suicide.
Growing up I thought that I had a good relationship with my father. As an adult I realized that wasn't true unless I was doing what he wanted. My decision to drop out of school to regroup led to day and night calls about my worthlessness. Once I followed my own path he attacked me, rejected me. I was at a low point and figured that he must be right. I attempted suicide. Obviously I wasn't too good at it since I am here today.
To escape the calls I joined the Army Reserves. Funny, my husband and I were both in the same reserve center in Bryan, TX where we met.
Later I went back to college, Wayland Baptist University. It was through that experience that I first learned about God. John and I both became Christians. Later we became foster/adoptive parents.
Our adoption journeys have not always been easy. When Emma came and was screaming for hours on end it would have been so easy to call and have her moved. But I couldn't. We were their 7th home, they needed stability, acceptance not rejection. Because of my own life experience with my father I refused to reject her.
Some of my children may not be able to live at home but I will never reject them. I tell them, I am your mom. Regardless of what they do, I am their mom.
Genesis 50:20, look it up

I did not grow up in a Christian home.  Actually I grew up with an alcoholic father.  In spite of that, I  felt that I had a good relationship with him.  He remarried when I was 19 and that all changed.  I could never understand how a parent could just reject a child.  

Is it worse to have a loving relationship and then have them turn on you or to never have had a relationship at all?  I don't know, I do know that the way he turned on me hurt me for a long time. Actually I don't think about it much today but it still hurts.  I wish that I had a father to call and talk with.  I wish that my kids had a grandfather.  My husbands parents have both passed away so my kids have only my mom as a grandparent. My kids ask about my father.  What do I say?  The younger ones didn't even know that he was still living, they assumed he had died.  I guess that in a way he has.

My adopted kids also share that feeling of rejection.  I think that the only ones who really remember a parent are Joselin, Kassi and Michelle. Emma doesn't have much memory, Anthony and Larissa none. Nevertheless, at times they all ask about their other parents.  How do you fill that hole?  That loss?

I think that depends on the child. I think that each person deals with rejection in their own individual way. Some feel it more strongly than others.  I know for Larissa it was important for her to be able to see her mom and dad.  Luckily for her they were both very open and honest with her and let her know that she is in the best place.

For Michelle it just isn't the rejection of her parents but all those placements that she had.  She remembers them all and knows that some of them could have kept her but didn't. Actually they didn't help her out at all, they told her as much. As time goes on, she talks less and less about all the different homes. Some of them we have discussed and processed, they were just homes along the way to her final home.

In spite of their rejections they have to learn how to move forward to live happy, productive lives. The longer that they hold onto that pain, the more damage it does.  I believe that every person has experienced rejection on some level at some point in their life.  We need to have more compassion for others, you don't know what pain others are carrying around. Don't give more rejection, be the catalyst for acceptance.  As a society we haven't gotten there yet.


At first I wasn't going to talk about this subject but then I realized that it can be a part of fostering/adopting.  Threats, sometimes they come with the territory.   Even though foster parents are not the reason why children come into care, they are an easy target for hurting parents.  They may make threats, they may just make life miserable with false allegations.  Sometimes they try to have the child act out. Try to have their child moved.  Threats come in many forms and are expected.

When we first became foster parents we had 4 children so we weren't fostering specifically to adopt. We were fostering for reunification and if a child couldn't go home we would consider adoption since we had a relationship with the child.

We do encourage reunification.  We mentor and encourage parents.  We are honest with them.  When things are going well we even meet them for extra visits between DSS visits. We still have a relationships with several of our previous foster children families.

However, not all kids go home to their parents.  Some go to family members.  Some have had parental rights terminated and been adopted by us. Emotions are high at that time.  It is a painful time. Still, we have never had a biological parent threaten us...until now.

Little Man's mom is very mad about the termination.  Apparently she planned on trying to get him back sometime (not sure when).  Her father called DSS and warned them that she was threatening us and the social worker.  He is worried that something is going to happen.  He has a reason to believe this, she has spent time in jail because of some violent actions.  She is capable of violence.

DSS called me to let me know.  Some of it I already knew through my connections.  They say that they have protocol for these situations, they contact the police.  The local police will be cruising our road.

We have strengthened our security.  Alarm is set, windows checked.  We live on a street with lots of retirees so someone sitting out in front of our house is not going to happen. Our kids only play in the backyard.  Already, they are not allowed to answer the door. We have discussed this rule to make sure that it is followed. All of our interconnected fire alarms are now working as well.

I know that biomom knows where we live.  In this small town it is hard to keep that secret.  I never gave her my last name but she got it anyways.  I know this because she contacted me on facebook. Lately her friends have been sending me friend requests which I do not accept.

We are trying to access this threat.  If it becomes a long term issue I am not sure what we will do.  Moving would be a pain but if necessary we would do that.  I hope that it doesn't come to that.

Any other foster/adoptive parents dealing with threats from biofamilies?  If so, how have you dealt with it?

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Large Family Travel - Looking for Food Ideas

I am looking at my budget for our vacation and I know that historically we have spent a lot of money on eating out. Travelling with 8 of us for two weeks will be expensive enough with hotels, I need to find ways to cut the food bill.  Any ideas?

Tuesday, June 16, 2015


Today we sent Anthony and Larissa off to camp with our church.  Michelle went last time and Emma is not ready.  Next year Anthony will go to a different camp and I hope to send all three girls.

Larissa was excited but clung to me.  The only time she has been away from home since she became ours was when she went with Sarah to Tasha's house.  She was able to call me tonight to tell me all about her day.  Apparently the food is good and they have an ice cream machine.  I hope that she is able to keep up with everyone since she tires so easily.

Anthony was more confident and excited.  I have a family friend who has a boy his age and he has spent the night at their home a few times.  The kids can call home if needed and I haven't heard from him.  It is hard for me to believe that he will be in middle school next year, they grow up so fast.

I was recently talking with some of my older kids about how things are different.  They used to spend the night at friends houses all the time and had sleepovers at our house as well.  With this group of kids we don't do sleepovers often.  Anthony has one friend that spends the night, the same friend that he sleeps over at their house.  With the girls I don't have any close friends with girls their age so no one that I trust them to spend the night at.  It is just easier to say we don't do sleepovers unless I know the mom very well and stick with it.

I was shocked the other day when one of Anthony's friends mom called and asked if Anthony could come over to their house.  I told her that it wasn't a good time and she offered to come and pick him up.  I didn't even know who she was!  Why would I let her come and pick my kid up?  I did offer to have them come over and swim but haven't heard from her since.  Am I paranoid? Would you have let someone who called your house to come over and pick up your kid?

Do you do sleepovers?  Do you let your kid go to sleepovers?

Monday, June 15, 2015

Large Family Travel

We love to travel.  Back when we had one child it was simple, when we added a second child it was still simple.  Most places accommodate a family of 4.  When we added a third child it got a little more complicated.  That meant a kid either went on a pallet on the floor or maybe we could find a room with two queen beds and a sofa sleeper.  Going to 4, 5 and 6 kids gets really complicated.  A suite is a must or multiple rooms.  Travelling gets real expensive real quick.

When planning ahead I always look for suites.  We don't always have an extra adult around to get the second room. However, there are times that I can't plan ahead.  When we drive to Texas we just drive and stop along the way when we are tired.  It is a 24 hour drive so a stop is needed.  Most of the time it is not possible to find suites when we decide that it is time to stop for the night. On those occasions we pile it into a chain hotel that we are comfortable with.  Anyone else out there pile your family into a hotel room that is obviously too small?

On this trip we are travelling with 3 adults and 5 children.  For the most part I have planned our days and made reservations in each town.  I have even made a reservation for a stopping point on the way to Niagara Falls.  That is unusual for me, we normally would just stop when we felt the need. Spontaneity has gone out the door.  More planning is necessary.  Lots of money will be going towards hotels and food.

Yes, we love to travel but our pocketbook and sheer size of our brood means we don't get to travel as often as we would like.

I have booked for Toronto and hope to fit that in.  The CN Tower looks interesting but I don't think that I will be doing the Edge Walk. Not sure if I want to do the expense of the restaurant or not. Couldn't reserve our family size anyways!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Road Trip

Our road trip for the summer is firming up.  We will be spending two nights in the Niagara Falls area and then heading to Indiana to visit family.  We will also be meeting up with Kathy who I meet through her blog.  It is a very small world.

We haven't decided if we are going to drive the north route through Canada or go the southern route. If we go through Canada we may spend a day in Toronto.  Anyone from that area?  Take that route? What would you do with a day in Toronto?

Two weeks on the road, I hope we survive!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

No Guarantees

You are looking at all the possessions of a 7 month old girl. Not a single blanket in there.

We are currently doing respite for a 7 month old baby.  Her foster family has gone on vacation for two weeks.  The child we call Munchkin is available for adoption and her foster family does not want to adopt her.

She was presented to her third possible placement on Thursday and if they say yes she will start visits.  If they say no like the other two families then they go on to the next.

She needs a family to grow.

I am bothered.  When you do a straight adoption homestudy you fill out a form letting them know what you are willing to accept in a placement. By the third family I am pretty sure that they are looking at the child factors list.

She needs a family to love her.

She is tiny, wearing size 1 diapers tiny.  She has a few delays.  But, she is very aware, smiles, wants held, sits up and is starting to crawl.  She presents to me as a baby who would thrive with a loving family.

She needs a family.

If by chance you are looking to adopt from foster care please be aware that adopting a newborn baby will not guarantee you anything.  Why is the child in care?  Many times it is because of mental illness or an addiction.  These can impact the child even before they are born.  If you are not willing to deal with these types of issues and the fall out from them then do not adopt from DSS.  If you are looking for a perfect, healthy baby then go private, although there are no guarantees there either. Even if you have a child of your own there are no guarantees.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Tie Dye Flashback

Anyone enjoy tie dying as a kid? I did, then I got to share the experience with my Girl Scout troops and then my kids.

The shirts were supposed to sit for 6-8 hours. Ours sat for about 24 hours because we didn't have time to get to them.

Anthony helped Little Man wash his shirt.

Even Joselin made a shirt.

We did the rinsing off and washing outside.  Yes, it was a mess.

I really enjoy the process, there is no right and wrong.  Every shirt is different.  We had so much fun that we plan on having a tie dye/swimming/BBQ party at the end of summer and invite friends.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Summer Bucket List

I know, my blogging has seriously slowed down.  The reason, by the end of the day I am so tired I sit at my computer and mindlessly scroll the internet and facebook. We have been busy, a good busy.

The kids made a bucket list for summer and we have been working on some of it.

Their list:

-Go to the beach/ Charleston -Bubble activity with foil -Moon clay ( w/ flour and baby oil) -Zoo -Charcoal art -Make pinatas -skate land -ice skating** -Hi-wire
-BBQ w/ Angela and David
-Water Park

Keep in mind, this is their list.  I have a few of my own that I will work in. Besides a few academic things I also want to take them to Niagara Falls and the Sears Tower (now called the Willis Tower).

I have no idea what the bubble activity with foil is and camping does not appeal to me.  I am a cabin type of camper.  I am looking for a tent so that they can camp in the backyard.  We are planning on going to some cabins in North Carolina next summer near Bryson City.

We did do the Moon clay activity.  Actually we did two different types of moon clay.  One with flour and baby oil and the other with sand, corn starch and water.

We had two teams (Larissa's teacher from last year joined us).

Very messy, great outdoor project.

Sand mixture

Flour mixture

There was a definite winner, the flour.  Everyone liked the texture best.

One complaint about the sand was that it hardened and dried out.  I saw one recipe online that said to use baby oil instead of water to prevent the drying out.  Regardless, they liked the texture of the flour best.

Next we worked on tie dying.  Such fun...pictures of that project tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Court Day

Today was court day for Little Man.  TPR hearing.  I was running late this morning, wasn't too worried about it because they always start late.  Well, I didn't realize that a judge from out of our county was doing court today and she was punctual.  Normally that wouldn't matter either because we typically are the last case seen.  I ran into a foster parent in the lobby who needed to talk to me.  I told her to call me because I was running late.

I stepped out of the elevator to find the GAL standing there.  She said we our case was just called and we had to go.  Whew, what timing. On time and first, the one time I was running late.

Our case took an hour.  I had to get on the stand to talk about my contact with the mother (none since last July but I was the last person to talk with her) and about Little Man's health issues. I don't like going on the stand.  I have a tendency to start answering before they have finished their long question.  I guess I am impatient....or the question is too long.

In the end TPR was granted on 3 different grounds.  Each ground had to be proved and documented.  Now we have a waiting period where the mom can file an appeal.  Honestly, even if she files an appeal I don't see how she can fight the TPR.  She hasn't worked her case plan, visited her child since last June 28th or supported her child.

While waiting for the appeal period to end we will work on finished our update on our adoption homestudy.  I have all the medicals and other paperwork but can't get the adoption worker to return my calls.  Tomorrow I am heading to Columbia to personally hand her the rest of the documents. Adoptions has to go through the selection process before we can do anything else. If they select us we will then go to our lawyer.  If not, we will look for a lawyer to fight.  I am not sure if our adoption lawyer would be the best choice for a fight.  I hope that we don't have to go there.

Termination of Parental Rights is a huge step.  I know that many talk about how it is such a loss for the mother.  While I agree I must admit that in this case my feeling is one of celebration and relief. Little Man's mother did not fight for her child.  She could have gotten her child back if she had done what was asked of her.

Sitting in court today I realize how little she did.  We did more for this child in maintaining our foster certification than what she did to try and gain custody of him. She walked away.  To say that I am sad for the mothers loss would not be true.  I have had cases where I did feel that way.  Where I saw the mothers work and try but just not have the ability to overcome their challenges (most of the times drugs). I have also seen some work hard and get their kids back. But in the case, nothing.  Even the visits she made were for her family. They held him, not her.

So today we are celebrating.  Little Man is now officially an orphan. Praying that he will soon be ours.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015


Kassi has been living with her boyfriend in a very old mobile home with mold issues. Kassi has asthma issues. Not a good combination. This combined witht he issues that this home belonged to his family and they were giving her issues related to the pregnancy meant that she had to move. This actually is a good thing, we had been encouraging them to find a better place for a while.

Kassi has been living out in the "boonies". Not very convenient to get to at all and she missed out on a lot of stuff going on at home. It also made it harder for her to get to work.

Kassi and Blake found an apartment in our town.  Blake later told me that Kassi wanted to be closer to home.  They needed the deposit with their application so we gave them money for that.  Their rent would be $500/month.  They were paying $150/week at the mobile home so they could afford that.

Last week Kassi called me and told me that they got the place but she was shocked that they wanted all of the rent before they moved in.  Well, yes that is typically how it goes.  When kids take off before they are ready they have huge gaps in knowledge that they really could use.  This makes for surprises.

Blake came to our house and I took him to the bank to get a money order for the first months rent.  I also got to go see their future apartment.  It is a two bedroom, two bathroom apartment with all laminate flooring.  It has a lot of closets and a pantry that is bigger than mine.  It is in a good area with lots of opportunity to get a job closer to home.  It looked really nice.

Kassi's other mom brought Kassi to the lease signing. She had come to town a few weeks ago. I think that her objective is to be here for when Kassi has her baby.  I know that Kassi would like that.  I just don't know if that will happen.  Her mom hasn't been one for sticking around when Kassi needs her.  Actually, when Kassi came in to care, her mom stayed out of state and made no attempt to come and get her daughter.

I try to remain positive about her other mom but in the back of my mind is those texts that were shared with me.  Kassi running away from an abusive grandfather and her mom telling her to go home because he is pestering her.  No concern for the abuse.  No concern for Kassi.  Only concern for herself.

However, I love Kassi and her mom is important to her so I hope that she does right by Kassi now. Kassi will need a lot of support in the next year.  I don't mind sharing the support, I just don't care to watch my kid get hurt once again by her other mom.

I think that it is going to be a very exciting, stressful year for Kassi.  She liked her new apartment so much that she cried.  It was so much nicer than she expected.  It is a start.  Now if we can just get her back in school so she can get her GED.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Sorry, Kids are Noisy at Play

School is out and pool season has begun.

Sidewalk chalk and water...

Having a buddy to play with is so much fun.

My sweetie, biggest cheeks around.

 I love, love, love watching Tasha love on her baby.

Our rocker has developed a leak so the kids took the middle out and had quite a good time trying to stay on top of it.  Keeping it balanced was quite a challenge, they had to work together to do it. They are also very loud when they do this.  Screaming and laughing and yelling at each other.

Vaida is going places.

Little Man is going places too....and it makes me nervous. We have video of him coming down the slide, I didn't know that you could get some air on those kiddie slides.  Believe me, you can!  We have cushions on the bottom for landing.

And with the start of the pool season our neighbor issues are back.  I really don't understand why he doesn't go live on a retirement community where no kids are allowed.  He has started yelling at my kids again.  Last night it was at 7 pm.  I never let them out too early or too late.  Typically they are in by 8 pm. They are in early to avoid our neighbor.

This morning I went to our neighbor to the side of us.  I asked him if my noisy children bothers him. He said that he can hear them but he can tell that they are playing and it doesn't bother him.  He asked me who was yelling at the kids at 7 last night.  Uh, the neighbor behind us.  He yells at them loud enough to be heard two doors away.

I really don't know what to do about my neighbor.  We have a fence and a row of bushes in front of that.  I don't know of any other sound barrier that is affordable.  I am tired of telling my kids to come in or be quiet.  I acknowledge that they get loud in the pool but they are so involved in their play.

Honestly, if I had known that this would be such an issue I would have moved out to the country before putting in a pool.  We can't sell the house now, we wouldn't get the money back that we put into our yard. I have looked at realtor.com but don't see anything affordable.  I would hate to move, our house fits all of us and we have modified it for my mom with ramps and bigger doors for shower access.  We would lose so much in realtor fees, it just wouldn't' be a good financial decision.  Still, when I am limiting my children's  play it crosses my mind.

Anyone have suggestions for sound barriers?

Anyone want to buy a big house with a grouchy neighbor?

Monday, June 1, 2015

Pan Pals Wanted

This summer we are going to visit the post office, do a little geography and work on writing skills.

Anyone want to join us?

Email me at pritzen1@yahoo.com if you have any kids who want a pen pal.

Any takers?

Larissa Finished

 Larissa finished her coloring page and she is proud.  She is starting on another one.

Warning, these coloring pages are rather addictive.